Pain Medicine Fellowship

Welcome from Our Pain Fellowship Program Director

Thank you for your interest in the University of Louisville Pain Medicine Fellowship Program. Our fellowship takes pride in providing a balance between patient care, teaching, and research in the field of pain management. Your fellowship experience in our program will set you up for a fruitful career, may it be academic, hospital-based, or private pain practice.

The clinical program is dedicated to providing comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and highest quality medical care for chronic pain patients. These experiences are being offered in our diverse clinical settings at the University of Louisville and its affiliate hospital, Veterans Hospital, and the inaugural Spine and Pain Center.

Our pain faculty including myself, are dedicated to the teaching and advancement of our fellows. You have decided to spend an extra year to further your own training and my goal is for you to learn in an environment that is both collegial, supportive, and less stressful. Ultimately, my hope is for each one of you to become an exemplary pain physician who will further our field to new heights.

I hope that you will find our program and living in Louisville a good fit for you and your family. On behalf of the staff and the Pain Medicine Division, we look forward to meeting you.

Alexander Bautista, MD, MBA, FASA
Associate Professor
Pain Fellowship Program Director
Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

The Pain Medicine Fellowship Program at the University of Louisville is an anesthesiology-based, multidisciplinary program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The mission of the program is to hone talented pain physicians who will be potential leaders and innovators in the field of pain medicine and research.

We accept two fellows each year into our comprehensive training program that provides an excellent opportunity for training in chronic non-malignant and cancer pain in both inpatient and outpatient settings. We foster compassionate, knowledge-based care, practice-based learning and improvement, interpersonal communication skills, professionalism, and system-based practice in adherence to ACGME milestone standards. We strive to provide the highest quality of patient care, education, and research.

Our fellows rotate through the University of Louisville Hospital and its affiliate, Veterans Medical Center, and the soon to be built Spine and Pain Center located in the east side of Louisville. Unique to our fellowship is the opportunity to rotate through board-certified private practice pain physician and learn practice management and be exposed to a private practice model. Our clinic sees 5000 patients annually and perform nearly 200 procedures per month and 300 surgeries per year. After finishing the fellowship, our fellows always feel equipped with the technical aspects of performing procedures, with an in-depth understanding of how to manage patients with difficult psycho-social problems, palliative, end-of life care as well as safe opioid prescribing.

With our expanding departmental research team, both residents and fellows will have opportunities for basic science, clinical and translational research, and quality improvement projects


At the satisfactory completion of the fellowship, the fellows will be eligible for entry into certification in Pain Medicine through the American Board of Anesthesiology, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, American Board of Neurology and American Board of Psychiatry.

The fellows are provided with broad clinical exposure that includes the comprehensive evaluation and management of pain syndromes with varying complexity, ultrasound and fluoroscopically guided injections and significant surgical experience.

It is a 12-month fellowship program with extensive training and rotation through the following disciplines and services:

  • Chronic Pain Management (core rotation, University Hospital and VA Robley Rex Medical Center)

  • Neurology Rotation (Headaches and Facial Pain)

  • Cancer pain and Palliative Medicine

  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Spinal Cord Injury and Musculoskeletal Pain)

  • Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine

  • Acute Pain and Regional Anesthesia

  • Neuroradiology

  • Anesthesiology for Non-Anesthesiologist

  • Research Rotation (Optional)

  • Private Practice Rotation (Elective)

The goal is for fellows to progress from functioning under supervision to, eventually, become independent in performing complex procedures, manage complex chronic pain problems, and be able to function as consultants in all aspects of pain management. In order to reach this goal, active participation of pain fellows is essential.

The pain medicine accredited fellowship program began in 2002. We have graduated 23 pain physicians.

  • Current Fellows: Robert Liu (Anesthesia), Raymond Christopher Yu (Anesthesia)

  • 2021: Steven Thebaud (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Ohio;  Kevin Andres (PM&R) - Private Practice, Indiana

  • 2020: William Bickers (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Kentucky;  James Sweet (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Texas

  • 2019: Gregory Crewdson (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Iowa;  Daniel Sandlin (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Georgia

  • 2018: Rafael Arias (PM&R) - Private Practice, Puerto Rico;  Nicholas Volchko (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Ohio

  • 2017: John Adams (PM&R) - Private Practice, Florida;  Ashley Amsbaugh (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Texas

  • 2016: John Khilken (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Indiana

  • 2015: Jenna Dismore (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Kentucky

  • 2014: John Ruxer (PM&R) - Private Practice, Kentucky

  • 2013: Christopher Middendorf (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Florida

  • 2012: Christian Unick (Anesthesia) - Private Practice, Kentucky

Pain Fellow (PGY-5) Stipend for the 2021-2022 Academic Year:

  • $66,122 (yearly)  

  • $5,510 (monthly)

Moonlighting opportunities are available for pain fellows with anesthesia background upon approval of the program director.

Benefits include the following:

  • Vacations —20 days paid

  • Book stipend of $500

  • 5 days for educational conferences and $1500 total for expenses (extra $750 per conference presentation)

  • 5 days for interviews

  • Life Insurance — Includes accidental death and dismemberment

  • Health Insurance — Families can be included at minimal cost

  • Worker's Compensation

  • Long-term Disability Coverage

  • Professional Liability Insurance

  • Free Parking

  • Lab Coat

We have two fellowship spots available each year.

To be eligible for the Pain Medicine Fellowship, the applicant must have successfully completed an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)-accredited residency and be board-eligible in your base specialty.

Applications are reviewed from December 1 through April 30 for the subsequent fellowship year. The application and all supporting documentation must be submitted through Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) and those invited for an interview should register with the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) to be eligible for the match.

Applicants chosen will be invited for a personal/virtual interview with the program director and selected faculty.

Interview sessions take place in May and June.

Equal attention is given to every applicant regardless of sex, gender, religion, and race.

If interested, please contact:

Alexander Bautista, MD, MBA, FASA
Program Coordinator

Ms. Cindy Jesse
Program Coordinator

Please feel free to contact us for any questions/comments!

Alexander Bautista, MD, MBA, FASA
Program Coordinator

Ms. Cindy Jesse
Program Coordinator