Vanderbilt Interventional Pain Medicine via the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

Supervisor(s): Julie Price, Psy.D.

Location: Interventional Pain Medicine, 100 Oaks (OHO), 719 Thompson Lane, Nashville, TN 37204

Clinical or Research Rotation: Clinical

Number of Positions Available: 1

Anticipated Number of Face-to-Face Clinical Hours per Week:  6-7


Description: The central focus of this placement is assessment and brief interventions for patients with chronic pain conditions. This placement is housed in Pain Medicine at OHO, but opportunities for participation in activities at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, formally Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health, will be highly encouraged if schedules allow.

Assessment: These evaluations involve a diagnostic interview, brief cognitive screening, psychological inventories (anxiety, depression, pain), and a personality assessment, and, when possible, a collateral interview. The psychologist formulates specific recommendations regarding suitability for invasive pain management procedures, and possible interventions or behavioral markers which should be addressed before the candidate is considered a candidate for implantable pain management devices (e.g. spinal cord stimulator, intrathecal pain pump). Follow-up in regard to the patient’s progress in meeting intervention goals is an ongoing part of the evaluation process when appropriate.

Consultation/Intervention: From a Behavioral Medicine perspective, the focus is on brief psychological interventions that facilitate self-management of pain (e.g. use of pacing, relaxation strategies/mindfulness, sleep management). Appropriate patients may be trained in adjunct interventions that directly aid in reduction in physical and mental distress (e.g. biofeedback). In addition, recommendations that utilize an integrative approach (medicine, psychology, PT, nutrition, yoga/Tai Chi, massage, acupuncture) to pain management and referrals to the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, as well as to community providers will be utilized.

The results of assessments/evaluations and treatment recommendations are communicated to the appropriate team via a variety of formal and informal avenues. In addition to the above, other services available to Pain Medicine patients and their families include psychoeducation and individual and couples therapy. The opportunity to develop group therapy and participate in the development/piloting of the new inpatient functional rehabilitation program is also possible.

What interns will do: The intern and the psychologist will attend a monthly Interdisciplinary Pain Medicine Team meeting together and are jointly involved in all aspects of the placement. A goal of this rotation is the objective assessment of current functioning, available support and coping resources, potential co-morbid psychopathology, possible substance abuse, and cognitive impairment, any of which might be a barrier to full benefit of medical and psychological interventions. The intern must learn to communicate and report to non-mental health professionals clearly, both verbally and in writing, and to work closely with medical center staff from a variety of disciplines. In addition, the intern will attend/give at least 2-4 pain didactics (7:15-8am) with the Pain Medicine fellows throughout the year and will have the opportunity to attend the quarterly Interdisciplinary grand rounds (Sat. 9-12pm).

Time commitment: Rotation is held on Thursdays, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm, though potential for flexibility exists. 

Competency Goals: By the end of the rotation, interns will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of and intervention strategies for chronic pain management.  This will include: appropriate utilization of psychological and non-psychological, integrated pain treatment modalities (e.g., CT guided nerve blocks, PT, AT, yoga, acupuncture, nutrition, etc.); the ability to rapidly integrate and document medical and psychological information, demonstration of clinical writing skills and professional responsibility; and knowledge of the pain literature concerning treatment, classification, and etiology as well as related general medical terms and disorders. 

Prerequisites: Prior graduate level coursework and practicum experiences in Health Psychology including experiences conducting assessments for implantable devices and a basic ability to conduct compressive chart reviews (labs, toxicology screens [UDS]) is highly recommended.  In addition, passion for working with this population is encouraged.  

Contact Information: For more information, please contact Dr. Julie Price (