The crisis of overdose deaths related to opioids has changed the face of medicine in the United States; opioids are no longer prescribed freely by primary care or pain medicine physicians. In fact, many pain clinics (even multiple in the academic sector) have opted to become interventional-only and/or opioid-free. This has resulted in the dilemma of pain fellows graduating fellowship training with little to no experience in opioid prescribing. Despite this, they are expected to be skilled in the safe use of these medications and begin prescribing opioids immediately after graduating.

To fill this considerable educational gap, the APPD and six accomplished faculty from around the country present an educational series designed to improve the ability of pain physicians to manage challenging conversations about opioids. Fellows who complete this course will be eligible to sit for the cognitive assessment to evaluate mastery of the topics.


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Concept mastery designation will be earned by fellows who meet the following requirements:

  • Attendance

    • Synchronous attendance at 5 of the 6 live video-broadcast lectures

    • One excused absence to view any single lecture as a recording

  • Surveys: 100% completion of pre and post surveys for each lecture (including during the single permitted asynchronous lecture)

  • Cognitive Domain Assessment: A multiple-choice exam consisting of 18 total questions (three from each lecture) to be administered at the end of the lecture series.  Fellows must correctly answer >80% to pass this exam.


Weekly sessions will be held from 8-9 pm ET/5-6 pm PT beginning Wednesday September 13.

September 13: Existing Evidence Regarding Opioid Therapy and Approach to Difficult Conversations
Sudheer Potru, DO, FASAM (Emory)

September 20: Continuation of Difficult Conversations/Violence in the Pain Clinic
Mercy Udoji, MD (Emory)

September 27: UDS Interpretation, Management, and Discussion of Aberrant Results
Jarna Shah, MD (UAMS)

October 4: Screening for Substance Use Disorder (SUD), and Practical Approach to Explanation of Diagnosis to Patient
Rebecca Donald, MD (Vanderbilt)

October 11: Initiating and Supervising Continuous Opioid Therapy
Heejung Choi, MD (Northwestern)

October 25: Empathetic Tapering or Discontinuation of Continuous Opioid Therapy
Ariana Nelson, MD (University of California-Irvine)


Register Now!