American Society of Anesthesiologists - Pain Management Procedures

Summary: The complexities involved in diagnosing and treating chronic pain have resulted in pain medicine being recognized as a separate medical subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which requires the completion of post-residency fellowship training. Medical training is necessary to diagnose and formulate a treatment plan for patients suffering from chronic pain, perform interventional procedures to diagnose and treat chronic pain, and respond to complications of treatment should they arise. Interventional pain procedures by unqualified providers present serious risks to patients such as persistent or increased pain, bleeding, infection, nerve damage, brain damage, paralysis, or even death. Chronic pain management services include complex prescription medication regimens, often involving opioids. Specialized physician training is necessary to prevent potentially lethal side effects and medication dependency.

Additional Resources
Privileging for Chronic Pain Management, Statement on (2013)  
• Chronic Pain Can Be a Multisystem Disease


ASA Contact(s)
For additional information, please contact Erin Philp, State Affairs Associate, Department of State Affairs