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Early Investigator Research Grant

AAPM Early Investigator Research Grant Request for Applications

The deadline to submit applications to the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) for grant support of preliminary or pilot research projects relevant to a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, patient-centered approach to pain management is now closed.

One grant of $15,000 for one year will be awarded with a start date of approximately July 1, 2020.

Key Dates & Deadlines

  • November 14, 2019: Request for Applications (RFA) Release Date
  • January 20, 2020: Letter of Intent (non-binding) due to [email protected]
  • February 17, 2020: Proposal Application due to [email protected]
  • Mid-May, 2020: Notification of Award (Delayed)
  • July 1, 2020: Anticipated start date of funding

Contact AAPM with questions at [email protected] or 847-375-4731.

Call for Nominations

AAPM Call for Nominations

Each year AAPM invites Active Members to participate in an open call for Board and Nominating Committee nominations, as well as Annual Meeting Awards nominations. The Academy is now inviting nominations for available 2021-2022 positions on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee and 2021 awards.

Board and Nominating Committee Call for Nominations

Nominees should be current, voting members of AAPM who are interested in and qualified for service in a leadership role. When the Nominating Committee develops the slate of candidates, “Preference shall be given to individuals with active service on a committee of the Academy,” (AAPM Bylaws, Article X, Section 1).

Nominations and required materials must be submitted by August 23, 2020, for consideration.

Available Positions

1 President-Elect: 1 year term
1 Secretary: 3 year term
2 Directors-At-Large: 3 year term
2 Nominating Committee Members: 2 year term

Position Descriptions

A completed nomination form, resume, or curriculum vitae, and COI disclosure statement must be submitted for each nominee. August 23 is the deadline for submitting required materials by fax, e-mail, or mail:

1) Fax: 847-375-6477
2) E-mail: [email protected]
3) Mail: American Academy of Pain Medicine, 8735 W. Higgins Rd., Ste. 300, Chicago, IL 60631

If there are any questions regarding this process, please contact AAPM at 847-375-4731 or [email protected]. Thank you.

AAPM Call for Nominations: 2021 Awards

The annual AAPM awards identify and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals whose endeavors improve the care of people with pain. Voting members may nominate individuals for consideration by the Awards Committee. Awards are presented at the AAPM Annual Meeting to those who contribute to the field of pain medicine in social, political, scientific, or clinical arenas. Learn more about AAPM’s awards, including a history of previous honorees.

Please assist the AAPM Awards Committee in identifying the most deserving individuals for these 2021 awards using the award nomination form.

August 23, 2020 is the deadline for submitting the form in one of the following ways:

1) Fax: 847-375-6477
2) E-mail: [email protected]
3) Mail: American Academy of Pain Medicine, 8735 W. Higgins Rd., Ste. 300, Chicago, IL 60631

Guidelines for Expert Witness Qualifications and Testimony

Guidelines for Expert Witness Qualifications and Testimony

A statement by the American Academy of Pain Medicine


The integrity of the litigation process in the United States depends in part on the honest, unbiased, responsible testimony of expert witnesses. Parties to litigation frequently call on Pain Medicine physicians as experts to testify regarding medical diagnoses, prognoses, and treatments. Pain Medicine physicians who serve as experts in litigation should do so only within the boundaries of their training, expertise, and professional experience. The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) supports the concept that expert testimony by qualified Pain Medicine physicians should be objective and unbiased. To limit uninformed and possibly misleading testimony, experts in pain medicine should be qualified for their role and should follow a clear and consistent set of ethical guidelines.

The AAPM offers these guidelines to assist Pain Medicine physicians who are asked to serve as expert witnesses, to attorneys who are considering the engagement of such physicians, and to courts that are called upon to evaluate the qualifications of such witnesses. Not intended to address specific peculiarities of various levels of legal issues addressed in different types of courts, these general guidelines aim to promote transparent and ethical expert witness testimony in legal proceedings.

A. Expert Witness Qualifications

  1. A physician who testifies as an expert witness in pain medicine should have a current, valid, and unrestricted license to practice medicine.
  2. The physician should be Board certified in Pain Medicine through the American Board of Pain Medicine or another Board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
  3. The physician should have significant clinical experience in the practice of Pain Medicine.
  4. The physician should disclose any conflicts of interest at the beginning of the process in accordance with sound ethical principles.

B. Expert Witness Ethical Guidelines

  1. The review of the medical facts by an expert witness in Pain Medicine should be thorough and impartial. It should not exclude any relevant information. The testimony of the expert witness should be truthful and impartial.
  2. The physician’s testimony should reflect an evaluation of performance in light of generally accepted standards in the practice of Pain Medicine as reflected in relevant literature and clinical experience. The testimony should neither condemn conduct that falls within generally accepted practice standards nor support conduct that falls outside accepted medical practice. Testimony pertinent to a standard of care should take into account standards that prevailed at the time the event under review occurred. 
  3. The physician expert in Pain Medicine should be cognizant of the distinction between (a) ordinary negligence, i.e. conduct undertaken in good faith that falls below the standard of care (with consideration of a possible spectrum of standard care) and (b) gross or criminal negligence, i.e. willful disregard for the best interests of the patient or conduct so far beneath the standard of care that it shocks the conscience. Where the defendant is charged with gross negligence or criminal conduct, the physician expert should endeavor to explain whether the challenged conduct is so far outside the bounds of acceptable medical practice as to warrant imposition of punitive damages or a finding of criminality – or whether that conduct represents a good faith but negligent effort to care for the patient.
  4. The physician expert in Pain Medicine should be cognizant of the distinction between a bad outcome and negligent conduct. Sometimes, an adverse outcome, as tragic as it might be, is not the result of negligence. Thus, the physician expert should consider, and be prepared to testify to, the causal relationship between the challenged conduct and the injury at issue. In other words, the physician expert should be able to testify to whether the plaintiff’s poor outcome is the proximate result of negligent conduct by the defendant – or whether it was just an unfortunate event not fairly attributable to negligence.
  5. The physician’s fee for expert testimony should relate to the time spent in examining the facts, preparing, and testifying. In no circumstances should the fee be contingent upon outcome of the litigation.
  6. If a physician expert in pain medicine knowingly provides testimony based on a theory not widely accepted in the specialty, the physician should characterize the theory as such in his or her testimony.
  7. The Pain Medicine physician must hold the patient’s medical interest paramount, including the confidentiality of the patient’s health information, unless the Pain Medicine physician is authorized or legally compelled to disclose the information.
  8. Further guidance regarding the expert witness is found in the AAPM Ethics Charter, specifically the section on “Legal Testimony,” which should be accessed for further clarification.

Approved by the AAPM Executive Committee on April 5, 2012, and Board on June 12, 2012

Download PDF Statement

Research into the Use of Cannabinoids for Medical Purposes

Position on Research into the Use of Cannabinoids for Medical Purposes

A Position Statement from the American Academy of Pain Medicine

The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) supports regulatory rescheduling of cannabinoids from Schedule I to Schedule II to facilitate research into the medical effectiveness, substance toxicity, and overall safety of these products for the treatment of pain. The Academy is calling for this change so that a broader assessment can be made of risks and benefits related to cannabinoids as a medical option.

Major systematic reviews on the use of cannabinoids for chronic pain have yielded conflicting conclusions regarding their effectiveness and safety.1-7 The lack of high quality clinical research leaves both physicians and patients at a disadvantage when considering the potential risks and benefits of cannabinoids as medicine.

Additionally, the current disparity in some areas between state and federal laws relating to the use of marijuana for the delivery of cannabinoids results in these substances not being sufficiently regulated.8 These factors place physicians in a difficult ethical and legal position when contemplating recommending cannabinoids for their patients. Accordingly, the American Academy of Pain Medicine urges federal agencies to reschedule medical cannabis in order to encourage research leading to responsible regulation.


  1. Amato, L., Minozzi, S., Mitrova, Z., Parmelli, E., Saulle, R., Cruciani, F., . . . Davoli, M. (2017). Systematic review of safeness and therapeutic efficacy of cannabis in patients with multiple sclerosis, neuropathic pain, and in oncological patients treated with chemotherapy. Epidemiol Prev, Sep-Dec(41), 5-6, 279-293. doi:10.19191/EP17.5-6.AD01.069
  2. Aviram, J., & Samuelly-Leichtag, G. (2017). Efficacy of Cannabis-Based Medicines for Pain Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Pain Physician, Sep 20(6), E755-E796.
  3. Campbell, G., Stockings, E., & Nielsen, S. (2019). Understanding the evidence for medical cannabis and cannabis-based medicines for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 269(1), 135-144. doi:10.1007/s00406-018-0960-9.
  4. Mücke, M., Phillips, T., Radbruch, L., Petzke, F., & Häuser, W. (2018). Cannabis-based medicines for chronic neuropathic pain in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd012182.pub2
  5. The health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids: The current state of evidence and recommendations for research. (2017). Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
  6. Walitt, B., Klose, P., Fitzcharles, M., Phillips, T., & Häuser, W. (2016). Cannabinoids for fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi:10.1002/14651858.cd011694.pub2
  7. Whiting, P. F., Wolff, R. F., Deshpande, S., Nisio, M. D., Duffy, S., Hernandez, A. V., . . . Kleijnen, J. (2015). Cannabinoids for Medical Use. Jama, 313(24), 2456-73. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.6358
  8. Piomelli, D., Solomon, R., Abrams, D., Balla, A., Grant, I., Marcotte, T., & Yoder, J. (2019). Regulatory Barriers to Research on Cannabis and Cannabinoids: A Proposed Path Forward. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 4(1), 21-32. doi:10.1089/can.2019.0010

Approved by the AAPM Board on May 30, 2019

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American Academy of Pain Medicine