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The significance of Fellowship training and Board Certification in Pain Medicine

ABA Board Certification Dr. Skaribas

For patients today it is very hard to evaluate and consider the plethora of all sorts of medical providers in Pain Medicine, and find the appropriate physician who has the clinical skills and the training/experience to diagnose accurately and find treatment solutions for their clinical needs.

Not all physicians are the same.

First off, the physician needs to demonstrate that they completed and accredited primary specialty that offers fellowship training in Pain Medicine.


Fellowship programs are also not all the same.

Patients should be looking for doctors trained at a ACGME accredited fellowship program (traditionally all Anesthesia programs).

Being fellowship trained in Pain Medicine is important for several reasons:

  1. Specialized Expertise: Fellowship training provides in-depth knowledge and specialized skills in pain management, encompassing a wide range of acute and chronic pain conditions, treatment modalities, and interventional procedures.
  2. Comprehensive Care: Fellowship-trained pain specialists are equipped to offer comprehensive and multidisciplinary approaches to pain management, integrating medical, interventional, and behavioral therapies tailored to each patient's unique needs.
  3. Advanced Treatments: Fellowship training exposes pain physicians to advanced and innovative treatments, such as spinal cord stimulation, nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation, and regenerative medicine techniques, expanding the range of options available for pain relief.
  4. Complex Cases: Fellowship training prepares pain doctors to manage complex pain cases, including patients with coexisting medical and psychological conditions, substance use disorders, and challenging pain syndromes that require specialized expertise and care coordination.
  5. Evidence-Based Practice: Fellowship programs emphasize evidence-based practice, research, and critical appraisal of literature, empowering pain specialists to stay current with the latest advancements in pain medicine and apply best practices in clinical care.
  6. Recognition and Credentialing: Fellowship training in pain medicine enhances a physician's credentials and professional standing within the medical community, distinguishing them as experts in the field and increasing opportunities for collaboration and leadership roles.
  7. Quality of Care: Patients benefit from the expertise and comprehensive care provided by fellowship-trained pain specialists, receiving individualized treatment plans that prioritize safety, efficacy, and improved quality of life while minimizing risks and adverse effects.

In summary, fellowship training in pain medicine is essential for developing specialized skills, advancing knowledge, improving patient outcomes, and elevating the standard of care in pain management, underscoring the importance of specialized training for physicians dedicated to optimizing pain relief and promoting overall well-being in their patients.


When patients are refed to, or choose a physician for Pain Management  they need to make sure that this physician has been Board certified in their primary specialty (Anesthesiology), and also is Board certified by the same Board in their secondary Specialty (Pain Medicine).

The primary specialty for Pain Medicine is Anesthesiology.

Pain Medicine, as a subspecialty, is closely aligned with Anesthesiology due to its origins in managing acute and chronic pain in surgical settings. Anesthesiologists who pursue additional training and certification in Pain Medicine expand their expertise to provide comprehensive pain management services, including interventional procedures, medication management, and multidisciplinary pain care approaches. By specializing in Pain Medicine within the field of Anesthesiology, physicians can effectively address a wide range of pain conditions and facilitate improved quality of life for patients experiencing acute or Chronic Pain.

Having ABA (American Board of Anesthesiology) certification is crucial for Pain Doctors for several reasons:

  1. Expertise and Competence: ABA certification ensures that a pain doctor has met specific educational and training requirements, demonstrating competence in the field of anesthesiology and pain medicine.


  1. Quality of Care: Certification indicates that the pain doctor has passed rigorous examinations and has the necessary knowledge and skills to provide high-quality care to patients with acute and chronic pain conditions.


  1. Patient Safety: Certification helps ensure patient safety by verifying that the pain doctor has received proper training in pain management techniques, including the use of medications, interventional procedures, and holistic approaches to pain relief.


  1. Professional Recognition: ABA certification is a mark of professional recognition within the field of anesthesiology and pain medicine, reflecting a commitment to ongoing education and adherence to standards of practice.


  1. Legal and Ethical Considerations: Some healthcare institutions and insurance providers may require ABA certification for pain doctors to practice in their facilities or to be eligible for certain insurance reimbursements, emphasizing the importance of certification for legal and ethical reasons.


  1. Continuing Education: Maintaining ABA certification often involves participating in continuing medical education activities to stay current with advancements in pain management, ensuring that certified pain doctors remain up-to-date with the latest evidence-based practices.


Overall, ABA certification for Pain Doctors is essential for validating their expertise, ensuring patient safety, upholding professional standards, and promoting continuous learning and improvement in the field of pain medicine.




Ioannis Skaribas MD FASA DABA Double board-certified Anesthesiologist and Interventional Pain Management Specialist Ioannis Skaribas, MD, DABA, FASA, is a highly gifted and experienced physician renowned for his expertise in Spinal Cord Neurostimulation and advanced interventions.

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