Pain Medicine Residency

mani rajarathinam

Dr. Manikandan (Mani) Rajarathinam, Pain Medicine Postgraduate Education Director

Pain Medicine was recognized by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as a designated subspecialty in March 2014 and, with the first program of its kind in Canada, Schulich Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine enrolled its first two Pain Medicine Residents in July of 2014. The twenty-six block, two-year program will train candidates to be experts in the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of painful conditions across the spectrum of acute pain, cancer pain and chronic non-cancer pain.

During the program, residents will also be exposed to unique experiences surrounding the treatment of chronic pain in the community such as ODSP advocacy and Opioid Dependence.

Curriculum and Duration of Training

The duration of the program is 26 blocks, each of 4 weeks duration.

Training curriculum will be distributed as follows:

  • 13 blocks of clinical experience that takes place in the multidisciplinary pain clinic at St. Joseph's Health Care

  • 7 blocks of mandatory rotations: 
    1. Outpatient Psychiatry
    2. Addiction Medicine
    3. Musculoskeletal System in PMR / Rheumatology
    4. Neurology
    5. Pediatric Pain
    6. Cancer Pain
    7. Acute Pain Service 
  • 6 blocks of selectives through which to focus on an area of interest

Depending on past accomplished clinical work, trainees may be eligible to receive up to 6-7 blocks of credit for previous training. This is subject to approval by the Program Director.

Interventional pain procedures (injections via ultrasound, radio frequency ablation, fluoroscopy, or landmark techniques) can be incorporated into the curriculum but are not mandatory training requirements. Training in interventional pain management is established as per the request of the trainee. Presently, an ultrasound machine is available within the outpatient pain clinic to perform procedures for a variety of pain conditions. Additionally, a fluoroscopy suite is available to perform interventions, which is run three days per week.


Selectives can be chosen by trainees and tailored to suit individual learning objectives. Examples of possible selective choices include Adolescent Medicine, Bioethics, Child/Adolescent Psychiatry, Diagnostic Imaging, Education & Development, Gastroenterology, Interventional Pain Medicine/Neuromodulations, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Orthopedic/Spine Surgery, Palliative Care Service, Public Health & Preventative Medicine, Research Methodology/Biostatistics and Sleep Medicine.


Payment of residents is scaled according to their respective year of residency. Information can be found here

Windsor rotation details (travel and accommodation) are available here.


Application Information

Applications for Pain Medicine Residency must now be submitted via the Canadian Residency Matching Service (CaRMS) website through the Medicine Subspecialty Match. 

The following timelines are applicable for the upcoming 2022 match for Pain Medicine residency positions starting on July 1, 2023 in Canada:

July 13, 2022:          Application open through CaRMS site
August 26, 2022:      CaRMS application deadline
September 2022:          Interview period
October 20, 2022:    Ranklist submission deadline
November 2, 2022:   Match day (results made available)

Interview date for Pain Medicine at Western University:

Friday September 30, 2022  

Interviews will be conducted via video conference using Zoom.

For questions about the Pain Medicine residency program at Western University please feel free to contact 

Charlotte Sikatori McLain

Education Coordinator
London Health Sciences Centre - University Hospital
339 Windermere Road, Room B3-411
London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5A5
Phone: 519-685-8500, ext. 75813

Pain Medicine Residency Program Committee

The Pain Medicine Residency Program Committee is responsible for assisting the Residency Program Director (PD) in the planning, organization, and supervision of the Program. The committee must review both the overall and specific educational objectives of each component of the Program on an annual basis as structured to reflect and encourage development of the CanMEDS roles.

The Committee also ensures that admission, evaluation, remediation, appeals, and all other relevant processes are effective and consistent with University Guidelines.

Membership includes physician specialists in anesthesia, psychiatry and addiction medicine, neurology, palliative care, pediatrics, rheumatology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychology and an elected resident representative.

Dr. Manikanden Rajarathinam

Dr. Jonathan Brookes
Dr. Collin Clarke
Dr. Heather Getty
Dr. Eldon Loh
Dr. Shiraz Malik
Dr. Stephen Morrison
Dr. Dwight Moulin
Dr. Raju Poolacherla
Dr. Geoff Bellingham
Dr. Qutaiba Tawfic
Dr. Tuoyo Awani
Dr. Robert McKay
Ms. Charlotte Sikatori McLain

Resident Representative:
Dr. Abdulrahman Alboog

Pain Medicine Residency Program Highlights


More of our Pain Medicine trainees successfully completed the program and embarked on their Pain management careers in different parts of the country. Dr. Cook, a physiatrist by background, helped develop a new Pain management centre in the Waterloo region where he serves as the director. Dr. Alfasi has remained in Ontario and is affiliated with the U of Ottawa. Dr. Phillips and Dr. Leung went on to practice Pain Medicine and Anesthesia in British Columbia. Dr. Deng, also a physiatrist, has an Interventional Pain practice in Alberta. Dr. Beaudoin pursued a Neuromodulation fellowship in Switzerland soon after finishing his Pain residency and has returned to Quebec to practice Pain management. In 2020 we welcomed Dr. Singh, who finished an Internal medicine residency and joined our program. In 2019 the Royal College accreditation review for our Pain Medicine residency program was deemed to be within acceptable compliance with the Standards of Accreditation. Many thanks to Dr. Bellingham for all his great efforts and leadership in shaping up this well-rounded program during his tenure as Program Director. Dr. Bellingham handed over the directorship of the Western University Pain Medicine residency program to Dr. Rajarathinam in 2021 who is a two-time Teacher of The Year awardee in the Pain Medicine residency program.


We have been fortunate to have continued growth of our residency program over the past year. For the first time, we have had both funded positions occupied by resident learners in both the first and second years of training.

In keeping with the multidisciplinary nature of the specialty, the Pain Medicine residency has also seen an expansion of the scope of resident entry specialties. In 2017 we accepted trainees from physiatry and neurosurgery in addition to anesthesia trainees.

Enhanced funding to our pain clinic from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, allowed us to expose our residents to more multidisciplinary care of chronic pain patients. Our residents are now fortunate to work in a clinic with a variety of health professionals including psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, social workers, pharmacists, and nursing staff. This multidisciplinary environment will serve to promote this model of care in the future as our graduates adopt this standard in their own future practices.

Development of educational initiatives has become a strength within the Pain Medicine Residency program. Resident scholarly projects have focused on education taking the forms of a book chapter on the role of the sympathetic nervous system on pain pathways, an online learning module on complex regional pain syndrome, and a fluoroscopy simulation project for spine interventions.

Our graduates have demonstrated success in their new positions as accredited pain medicine subspecialists in their communities. Both Dr. Pariser and Dr. Phillips have contributed to the development and maintenance of pain medicine programs in Nanaimo and Prince George B.C., respectively. As a new subspecialty residency, we are starting to see one of its main goals fulfilled in training leaders of best practice in pain medicine for Canadian communities.

With more Pain Medicine residencies becoming accredited, the future looks bright for pain medicine practice in Canada. Our department has been making a significant contribution in this regard hosting the first Pain Medicine residency in Canada. I thank all of those who continue to support and teach our residents in this growing specialty. 

The past year has marked another milestone for the Pain Medicine Residency at Western University. Both of our inaugural residents, Dr. Michael Pariser and Dr. Amjad Bader, completed their training and successfully challenged the Royal College Pain Medicine examination. As such, they both have the distinction of being trained as Canada’s first accredited Pain Medicine Subspecialists.

On a national level, this subspecialty-training program has gained momentum as other universities gain accreditation for their Pain Medicine Residency programs. To strengthen all of our training programs, the program directors have collaborated to deliver lectures and workshops on a national level. This relationship has led to quarterly national videoconferencing teaching sessions that focus on teaching CanMEDS roles relevant to pain management. Again, Western University has acted as a leader hosting the first of such videoconferences with Dr. Carole Orchard speaking on interprofessional collaboration within pain clinics.

The St. Joseph’s Pain Clinic has also been fortunate to receive funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to enhance the care delivered to patients through increased physician services and allied health. This is welcome news to our community but also serves as an opportunity for the residents to benefit from an enriched clinical environment.

With the increased funding, Western University Pain Medicine residents will have increased opportunities to be exposed to interventional techniques in addition to collaborating and learning from allied health colleagues. Residents will have opportunities to work with and learn from a pain clinic pharmacist, social worker, and a number of psychologists, physiatrists, and occupational therapists.

The residency is also grateful for the tremendous work put forth by our Program Administrator, Charlotte Sikatori McLain. Over the past year, Charlotte has settled in to become an integral component to the smooth running of the program.

The work of the Pain Medicine Residency Committee has been effective at achieving the goal of launching Canada’s first Pain Medicine Residency. We look forward to improving the program further for future trainees and to continue to act as leaders and collaborators for Pain Medicine education in Canada.

Feedback from our initial residents has been excellent. As training has progressed, success of the program is reflected in the growth of their skills and knowledge as pain management specialists. We have seen our residents develop in their ability to lead and collaborate as advocates for those in pain. This is reflected in their scholarly work from developing an information night program for new patients and their families to performing quality assurance analysis on the interventional techniques being performed by the clinic. The Pain Medicine Residency Committee wishes to thank our Program Administrator, Lori Dengler, for the time and effort put forth establishing the administrative frameworks to run the curriculum. As Lori transfers to her new role of Program Administrator for the Anesthesia & Perioperative Medicine Residency, we welcome Charlotte Sikatori as the Pain Medicine Residency’s new Program Administrator.

The work of the Pain Medicine Residency Committee has been effective at achieving the goal of launching Canada’s first Pain Medicine Residency. We look forward to improving the program further for future trainees and will continue to act as leaders and collaborators for Pain Medicine education in Canada.

Western University successfully completed its inaugural year of Pain Medicine resident training in June 2015 within the Department of Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine. The Pain Medicine Residency program follows successful completion of Royal College entry specialties including anesthesia, physical medicine and rehabilitation, neurology, and psychiatry. Our first trainees to enter the program have done so after completion of Royal College certified anesthesiology programs. The foundation of clinical training has been maintained at the Pain Clinic located at St. Joseph’s Health Care, which achieved accreditation for operational excellence in the fall. The multidisciplinary nature of the clinic includes social work, physiotherapy, psychology, interventional pain techniques, and exposure to consultants from different specialties, all of which have provided a rich learning environment for our residents to achieve competency in the CanMEDs roles.

The St. Joseph’s Pain Clinic has allowed our trainees to work within the biopsychosocial model of pain management, the current gold standard of patient care. In addition to this, the program has offered diverse training opportunities as the residents have gained exposure to consultation liaison psychiatry, addiction medicine programs at the Windsor Campus, cancer pain management at the London Regional Cancer Center, and functional neurosurgical clinics at University Hospital.