Addressing the Public Health Crisis of Excessive Opioid Prescribing and Inadequate Pain Management Through Closing the Pain Education Gap

A crucial but overlooked component of the opioid crisis is the profound education gap in basic pain management. In this commentary, Scott Fishman explores the public health problem of insufficient pain management education and describes several potentially scalable efforts in undergraduate and postgraduate education that can overcome these deficits.

Scott M Fishman, M.D.


Responding to the Opioid Epidemic: Educational Competencies for Pain and Substance Use Disorder from the Medical Schools of the University of California

The University of California (UC) leadership sought to develop a robust educational response to the epidemic of opioid-related deaths. The authors present a novel set of educational competencies that emphasize pain management, the safe use of opioids, and understanding and treating SUD.

Servis M, Fishman SM, Wallace MS, Henry SG, Ziedonis D, Ciccarone D, Knight KR, Shoptaw S, Dowling P, Suchard JR, Shah S, Singh N, Cedarquist LC, Alem N, Copenhaver DJ, Westervelt M, Willis BC


Cancer Pain Treatment and Management: An Interprofessional Learning Module for Prelicensure Health Professional Students

The authors discuss the value of interprofessional education (IPE) and interprofessional care in the health sciences. Specifically, this module uses cancer pain as the context through which students can learn interprofessional, team-based, and person-centered approaches to delivery of care.

Fishman SM, Copenhaver D, Mongoven JM, Lorenzen K, Schlingmann E, Young HM


UC Davis Train-the-Trainer Primary Care Pain Management Fellowship: Addressing the Pain Management Education Gap

A June 2020 article published in Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, features the center’s Train-the-Trainer program, a fellowship for primary care providers to prepare providers in pain care as well as prepare them to train others. The research team followed two groups of fellows who completed the 10-month program in 2017 and 2018. Their initial studies show that six months following their completion, the fellows demonstrated improvement and sustained performance in pain competencies as well as increased recognition and understanding of pain.

Fishman, Scott M. M.D.; Copenhaver, David M.D., MPH; Lorenzen, Kathryn MNA; Schlingmann, Ellery; Chung, Christy 


An interprofessional consensus of core competencies for prelicensure education in pain management: curriculum application for nursing.

Herr K, Marie BS, Gordon DB, Paice JA, Watt-Watson J, Stevens BJ, Bakerjian D, Young HM


Implementing a Paradigm Shift: Incorporating Pain Management Competencies into Pre-Licensure Curricula
This article reviews how the use of competencies creates historical context for a shift from teaching to learning and concludes with suggestions and exemplars in applying core competencies for pain management in prelicensure programs.

Arwood E, Rowe JM, Singh NS, Carr DB, Herr KA, Chou R. 


An Interprofessional Consensus of Core Competencies for Prelicensure Education in Pain Management: Curriculum Application for Physical Therapy
A December 2013 Physical Therapy article co-authored by members of the executive committee and competency advisory committee advocates for and identifies how core competencies for pain can be applied to entry-level physical therapy curriculum.

Hoeger Bement MK, St Marie BJ, Nordstrom TM, et al. 


Advancing Pain Care-Core Competencies for Pain Management
Because the nature of pain is inadequately addressed as a population health problem  in curricula, Kenneth Kizer, director of the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis Health and a professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing, endorses the core competencies reported by the interdisciplinary consortium in a June 2013 Pain Medicine article.

Kizer KW


Commentary: Adopting Pain Management Competencies
Ian J. Koebner, faculty in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at UC Davis School of Medicine, and Keela Herr, executive committee participant in the “Summit for Interprofessional Consensus on Pain Management Competencies”, wrote a commentary in the May 2013 Pain Medicine journal about the importance of adopting core competencies into practice.

Koebner IJ, Herr K


Improving Pain Practices Through Core Competencies
Executive Committee Member for the Interprofessional Pain Management Competency Program Judy Watt-Watson wrote a May 2013 Pain Medicine commentary, “Improving Pain Practices Through Core Competencies,”  expressing the need to integrate competency-based pain education into curricula.

Watt-Watson J, Siddall PJ


Core Competencies for Pain Management: Results of an Interprofessional Consensus Summit
An April 2013 Pain Medicine article written by UC Davis faculty and experts from around the globe describes the development of core competencies in pain management education for new health professionals.

Fishman SM, Young HM, Lucas Arwood E, et al

2020 Mini Medical School Week 1
Title: The War on Pain
Date: Feb. 1, 2020
Presenter: Scott M. Fishman
Note: The War on Pain lecture is the second on this video and begins at 57:44 minutes in the video. 


American Academy of Pain Medicine 31st Annual Meeting
Title: Primary Care Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Through Tele-Mentoring
Date: March 19, 2015
Authors: Scott M. Fishman, David J. Copenhaver, Robert McCarron, Jennifer Mongoven



Professor Scott M. Fishman leads a discussion group during the Pain Management Expert Summit in August 2012.

IASP 2014 World Congress on Pain
Title: Interprofessional Pain Education: Core Curriculum, Core Competencies and Evaluation Methods
Dates: Oct. 6, 2014 - Oct. 11, /2014
Conference location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Presenter: Scott M. Fishman


American Society of Pain Management Nursing 24th Annual National Conference
Title: Pain Management Nursing Core Competencies
Dates: Sept. 17-20, 2014
Conference location: San Diego
Authors: Keela Herr, Heather M. Young, Barbara St. Marie, Debra Gordon, Judith Paice, Scott M. Fishman


33rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Pain Society
Title: Pain Education in the U.S.: Medical and Nursing Schools
Dates: 4/30/2014 - 5/3/2014
Conference location: Tampa, Fla.
Presenter: Jennifer Mongoven


Learn Serve Lead: The AAMC 2013 Annual Meeting
Title:Consensus-Based Core Competencies for Pain Management in Medical Education
Dates: 11/1/2013  - 11/6/2013
Conference location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Authors: Scott M. Fishman, Heather M. Young, Daniel B. Carr and Beth B. Murinson


American Interprofessional Health Collaborative: Collaborating Across Borders (Cab) IV Conference
Title: Interprofessional consensus on pain management competencies for prelicensure health care providers
Conference location:  Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Dates:  6/12/2013 - 6/14/2013
Authors:  Molly Courtenay, Ian Koebner, Scott M. Fishman, Heather M. Young, Ellyn Arwood, Roger Chou, Keela A. Herr, Beth Murinson, Judy Watt-Watson and Jennifer Mongoven


American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Conference
Title: Core Pain Management Competencies for Health Professional Students
Conference Location:  Fort Lauderdale, FL
Dates:  4/11/2013 - 4/13/2013
Authors:  Naileshni Singh, Scott M. Fishman, Heather M. Young, Ellyn Arwood, Roger Chou, Keela A. Herr, Beth Murinson, Judy Watt-Watson, Ian Koebner and Jennifer Mongoven 


Western Institute of Nursing
Title: Prelicensure Pain Management Competencies
Conference Location: Los Angeles, CA
Dates: 4/10/2013 – 4/13/2013
Authors:  Jennifer Mongoven, Heather M. Young, Scott M. Fishman and Debra Bakerjian


Tufts University School of Medicine Annual Sackler Lecture
Title: Interprofessional and Competency-Based Education: Core Competencies for Pain Management
Date: 1/31/2013
Conference location: Boston, MA
Presenter: Scott M. Fishman