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How can I participate in pain research?

Visit the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab website to take a survey that will help us determine if and in which of our studies you might be eligible to participate in.

How can I make a referral to see you at the Stanford Pain Management Center?

I understand how important it is to find the right care for your pain. However, as I am deeply involved in research, administration, and teaching, my availability for clinic appointments is limited. Typically, I am only available to meet with patients once a month, primarily in a teaching capacity with our pain medicine fellows.

We're proud to have a dedicated team of 26 pain specialists with whom I worked closely to create comprehensive general and sub-specialty pain programs. These programs are designed to address a wide range of needs. They are available at various locations in the greater Bay Area, some of which might be more convenient for you. 

To request an appointment, call 650-723-6238.

How can I support your research?

To support our research, consider participating in our studies, as your involvement is invaluable for advancing the field. Our research relies on support from federal grants and private philanthropy. Philanthropy, in particular, supports most of our innovative, early-phase research. If you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution to advance pain research, please email Hilary Furlong, Director of Stanford Medical Center Development. Ms. Furlong can also discuss other gift options with you.

How can I attend events to learn more about pain?

The Stanford Division of Pain Medicine often hosts free events for members of the public. One example is our monthly Pain Science Lecture Series, which is open to any adult interested in. Recordings of these lectures are available for free on the Stanford Division of Pain Medicine's YouTube channel.

How can I work with your group?

Clinical Fellowships

We have two clinical fellowships in our division — a clinical pain medicine fellowship and a clinical pain psychology fellowship.

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

We have often have several postdoctoral research fellow openings within the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. You can learn more on our website.

Staff Positions

If you're looking for a staff position, please visit the Stanford Careers website to apply and learn more.

Undergraduate Research Assistants

If you're currently enrolled as a part-time or full-time undergraduate, we invite you to apply for an undergraduate research assistant position in the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept applications for students in elementary school, middle school or high school.

What are your financial disclosures?

I am committed to maintaining integrity and transparency in my clinical, research, and educational endeavors. To uphold these values, I provide the following financial disclosures. While I've made every effort to be thorough, unintentional omissions are possible. I will strive to keep this information current, but cannot guarantee regular updates.

  • General Disclosures: I have no financial ties with the industry. It has been over 15 years since I last received any industry-related compensation. My decision to sever these ties was influenced by the emerging opioid crisis and a commitment to operate without a conflict of interest. Despite my support for the industry, I choose not to accept funds to maintain impartiality. You can verify my lack of industry payments at Open Payments, a website maintained by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a public database detailing financial interactions between medical professionals and the pharmaceutical/device industries.
  • Employment and Compensation: My primary income is from my position at Stanford University. I do not receive additional compensation for grants obtained; these funds are allocated directly to Stanford, where faculty act as stewards or directors.
  • Investments: Most of my investments are in standard index funds, aligning with the Buffett/Munger investment philosophy. I occasionally invest in individual stocks, usually in the technology sector, with which I am familiar. I consciously avoid investing in medical or pharmaceutical stocks to prevent conflicts of interest.
  • Honorariums and Reimbursements: I occasionally receive honorariums and travel reimbursements for visiting professorships or lectures at academic institutions. I also receive travel compensation for attending professional medical and research association meetings.

What is your position on opioids?

Simply stated, I am not pro-opioid; I am not anti-opioid; I am pro-patient. I am guided by my personal and professional experiences on opioids. Personally, I come from a family background steeped in addiction and substance use problems. I have seen how substances (opioids, alcohol, illicit substances, etc) can destroy the lives of the individual, their families and communities. I have also seen this professionally in my treatment of patients with chronic pain. On the other hand, I have seen how, in the right person in the right circumstances, opioids can transform a person’s life for the better. Reducing their pain, increasing function, allowing them to return to work and better engage with family and friends. I typically do not recommend opioids as a front-line therapy. There are exceptions in end-of-life cancer related pain or severe acute pain. However, they may be appropriate in chronic pain after other therapies have failed to improve pain and functioning. Consequently, there is no simple answer to this issue and I take each situation on a case-by-case basis.

With regard to requesting a referral to me to prescribe opioids, I do not recommend that course. As noted above, my clinic time is so limited that I do not routinely engage in the continuity of care required for responsible opioid prescribing and stewardship.

Finally, one of the most important questions we need to answer in pain research is, “What is the long-term effectiveness and safety of prescribing opioids in people with chronic pain?”. We are attempting, in part, to address this through our PCORI-funded VALUE study.