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December 14, 2018

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What Is Pain Medicine?

What is pain medicine?

The specialty of pain medicine is concerned with the study of pain, prevention of pain, and the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of persons in pain.

Some conditions may have pain and associated symptoms arising from a discrete cause, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with a malignancy, or may be conditions in which pain constitutes the primary problem, such as neuropathic pains or headaches. The evaluation of painful syndromes includes interpretation of historical data; review of previous laboratory, imaging, and electrodiagnostic studies; assessment of behavioral, social, occupational and avocational issues; and interview and examination of the patient by the pain specialist.

Pain may require specialized diagnostic procedures, including central and peripheral neural blockade or monitored drug infusions. The special needs of the pediatric and geriatric populations and patients’ cultural contexts are considered when formulating a comprehensive treatment plan.

Pain physicians and their team members may serve as consultants to other healthcare providers and are often the principal treating provider themselves. They may provide care at various levels, such as direct treatment, prescribing medication, prescribing rehabilitation services, performing pain relieving procedures, counseling patients and families, directing a multidisciplinary team, coordinating care with other health care providers and providing consultative services to public and private agencies pursuant to optimal health care delivery to the patient suffering from pain. Pain clinicians may work in a variety of settings and are competent to treat the entire range of pain encountered in the delivery of quality health care.

See AAPM’s patient resources for more information on pain medicine or visit the career center for jobs in the field.

Career Center

AAPM Career Center

The AAPM Career Center offers the perfect forum for targeted recruitment and career development. Start here to reach more than 2,000 pain physicians and members of their treatment teams, who are actively involved in AAPM.

AAPM physician members are multidisciplinary and specialize in

  • anesthesiology
  • neurosurgery
  • family medicine
  • orthopedics
  • physical medicine and rehabilitation
  • internal medicine
  • oncology
  • neurology
  • psychiatry
  • emergency medicine
  • and more.

AAPM is a home for the entire pain care team, including

  • nurse practitioners
  • physician assistants
  • psychologists
  • physical therapists
  • nurses
  • occupational therapists

The AAPM Career Center connects pain medicine clinicians to hiring practices.

Job Seekers

  • Free profile posting – Post your professional profile online today.
  • View all jobs – Browse all available positions in pain medicine practices around the country
  • Job search – Refine your job search using specific criteria.
  • My account – Save up to 100 jobs in your account to view and apply later.
  • Help/FAQs

Find a Job


  • Specialties – Demographic information on our members.
  • Job posting rates – Single rate and discounts for placing multiple listings.
  • Post a job – Use the online posting form to find qualified candidates.
  • Manage jobs – Update job description, check the status of postings, renew or discontinue postings
  • Search profiles – Review the professional profile database and receive e-mail notifications when new profiles match your criteria.

Post a position

{loadposition career-feed}

unity circle

Pain Awareness Initiatives

Pain Awareness Initiatives

The core purpose of AAPM is to optimize the health of patients in pain and eliminate the major public health problem of pain by advancing the practice and the specialty of pain medicine. In line with this purpose, AAPM and the AAPM Foundation engage in a variety of initiatives to raise public awareness and education about pain.

Pain Awareness Month

Established in 2001, September is Pain Awareness Month. Join AAPM and many other organizations in raising public awareness of pain and pain management. Check out these resources from the American Chronic Pain Association and help bring attention to all types of pain and pain treatment.

AAPM Foundation Pain Awareness Emblem

unity circleThe Pain Awareness Unity Circle emblem was developed with the assistance of numerous pain advocacy organizations to amplify the voices of pain patients, survivors, and caregivers as they work to increase patient access to research, treatment, and care through public awareness. The Unity Circle provides a visual tool to assist advocates in reaching the shared desired goal: a sustainable model for funding and provider resources. Learn more about the emblem.

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American Academy of Pain Medicine