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Pain Staffing Survey for Academic Practices. Society of Academic Anesthesia Chairs Association of Academic Program Directors November 5, 2004. Loyola University Medical Center. All Anesthesiology Department chairs are faced with the operational conundrums of their pain clinics.

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Pain Staffing Survey for Academic Practices

Society of Academic Anesthesia Chairs Association of Academic Program Directors

November 5, 2004

Loyola University Medical Center


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All Anesthesiology Department chairs are faced with the operational conundrums of their pain clinics.


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Part procedural, part clinic based, these programs can be problematic since faculty are hard to recruit and retain. In addition, ancillary staff can consume a huge amount of monetary resources and clinic space may be difficult to acquire.

Part procedural, part clinic based, these programs can be problematic since faculty are hard to recruit and retain. In addition, ancillary staff can consume a huge amount of monetary resources and clinic space may be difficult to acquire.


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“Dealing with pain groups may be painful.” problematic since faculty are hard to recruit and retain. In addition, ancillary staff can consume a huge amount of monetary resources and clinic space may be difficult to acquire.


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Each anesthesiology department pain group and staffing model may be unique. The adage “when you see one pain program, you’ve seen one pain program” may apply.


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This survey attempts to gather information on patient volumes, procedural activity, staffing, funding and coverage sites to determine a common model, if any, for academic pain programs across the country.


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A total of 48 programs or 36% of the membership responded to this survey with most areas of the country represented.


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Patient Volumes this survey with most areas of the country represented.

E&M VisitsProceduresAPS

3,959 2,388 3,650

504 – 8,590 800 – 24,469 830 – 14,000

Represented as median values with ranges


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Patient Volumes this survey with most areas of the country represented.

Interventional Conscious Average

Pain Procedures SedationLength Mins.

150 538 45

9 – 5,065 16 – 4,800 20 – 60

Represented as median values with ranges


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Staffing for Pain Clinic this survey with most areas of the country represented.

Total Staff Full Time

in ClinicsStaff

4.5 3.2

0 – 21


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Staffing for Pain Clinic this survey with most areas of the country represented.

PhysiciansFellowsResidentsRN’s

3.0 3.0 1.0 2

1 – 15 0 – 7 0 - 3 0 - 7

Represented as median values with ranges


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Ancillary Staff this survey with most areas of the country represented.

Patient Care Techs 3 programs

Physician Asst. 4 programs

Nurse Asst. 4 programs

Medical Asst. 3 programs

Radiology/Fluoroscopy 4 programs


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Acute Pain Service Staffing this survey with most areas of the country represented.

PhysiciansFellowsResidentsRN’s

1.1 1 0.5 1

0 – 7 0 – 5 0 - 3 0 - 4

Represented as median values with ranges


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Other Personnel this survey with most areas of the country represented.

Physician Asst. 1 program

Nurse Asst. 1 program

Medical Asst. 1 program


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Funding for Pain Service this survey with most areas of the country represented.

Hospital Support (%)

Physician 14

Clinic Staff 55

APS Staff 32


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Funding for Pain Service this survey with most areas of the country represented.

Dept. Support (%)

Physician 82

Clinic Staff 59

APS Staff 59


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Salary Model for Pain Staff this survey with most areas of the country represented.

Based on SAAC/AAPD Survey 38%

Salary with incentives based on

number of RVU’s over baseline 33%

Combination of both 8%

Total production benchmarked on

professional activities 8%

No response 13%


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Pain physician provides coverage in operating room in clinic:

Yes – 50%

No – 50%

All staff may provide operating room coverage or as little as one out of group may provide coverage


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Private group affiliation with pain faculty? in clinic:

Yes – 25%

No – 71%


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Does a private pain group participate in fellowship training?

Yes – 29%

No – 58%


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Does your academic pain group receive a high number of referrals for chronic pain patients on high dose opioid therapy?

Yes – 83%

No – 17%


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Does your Pain Program have a multidisciplinary addiction center for detoxification of pain patients?

Yes – 8%

No – 92%


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Findings center for detoxification of pain patients?

  • Most pain clinics staff with full time physicians, fellows, residents, and RN’s

  • Funding for physicians comes primarily from departmental support while 50% of pain department clinical staff are supported by anesthesiology department, half are supported by the hospital

  • Salaries are based either on standard formats for academic faculty or salary plus incentives based on RVU’s

  • Pain physicians provide OR support in 50% of programs while 50% work exclusively in pain related clinical activity

  • 25% of program have affiliations with private pain groups

  • Only a few programs have multidisciplinary pain programs


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