PGY2 Pain Program - Tennessee Valley Healthcare System
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PGY2 Pain Program

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A Pharmacy Resident works with a Veteran at Tennessee Valley.

PGY2 Pain Management

Program Purpose

The purpose of the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System PGY-2 Pharmacy Pain Management Residency Program is to develop dedicated pharmacy pain specialists with clinical expertise in complex medication management related to a variety of chronic conditions with persistent pain. The resident will forge partnerships with healthcare teams and function independently to gain unparalleled treatment experience across clinically diverse practice environments and assure exceptional development of practice management skills while providing evidence-based individualized care. Residents successfully completing the program should possess competencies that qualify them for clinical pharmacy specialist positions in pain management within interdisciplinary pain clinics, primary care aligned teams (PACT), tertiary pain rehabilitation programs, academia, and managed care.      

Program Description

According to the Institute of Medicine’s 2011 Report on “Relieving Pain in America,” chronic pain is more prevalent than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined. Nearly 30-40 million people struggle with moderate to severe pain daily and chronic pain comprises nearly 40% of all primary care visits which is the most common reason people see their primary care provider. Despite the prevalence of chronic pain, there is an enormous disparity between the number of patients, providers requesting assistance, and availability of pain specialty providers.  In alignment with the Health & Human Services (HHS) National Pain Strategy released in 2016, our program endeavors to train clinical pharmacy specialists to provide interdisciplinary care and specialty assistance to front-line providers and serve as trusted liaisons between substance abuse, specialty pain, and primary care services to bridge the gap and assure improved quality of care.

 As medications tend to be the central focus for the majority of patients, utilizing pharmacy pain specialists can be critical to success. Even within dedicated residency training programs for pain, the majority have a program focus on either palliative care or acute pain management which are fundamentally different in their approach to pain.  Chronic pain management by necessity is rehabilitation focused which requires a holistic approach and partnership with Mental Health.

The PGY2 Pharmacy Pain Residency is a second-year specialty residency designed to develop a clinical specialist with expertise in pain management across various risk and complexity levels common to clinical practice. The resident is an integral part of an interdisciplinary team providing chronic disease state management via individual face-to-face clinic appointments, telephone calls, and group clinic visits. The resident will be accountable for achieving optimal drug therapy outcomes as a member of the health care team.   They will be able to monitor, evaluate, and refine patient drug therapy both independently and as part of an interprofessional team. They will exercise proficiency in communication and in educating other healthcare professionals, trainees and patients on drug related topics. Residents will demonstrate professional maturity by following the TVHS pharmacy mission, monitoring their own performance, and exhibiting commitment to the profession. By completing this comprehensive advanced training program, the resident is equipped with excellent leadership and practice skills and prepared to practice as a proficient, well-rounded clinical pharmacy specialist in a pain management setting.


  • Competitive stipend of $44,500
  • 10 federal holidays per year
  • Health/dental/vision insurance
  • 13 vacation and 13 sick days (accrued)
  • Conference travel allowance


Pain Management PGY-2 Residency Rotations

A longitudinal focus on training allows residents to fully integrate into treatment teams as they follow patients over time. Through repeated exposure to high risk patients, residents will develop a unique, highly specialized skill set that his highly sought after in clinical practice to assist with monitoring and compliance in this challenging population.


Program Structure:

Core Longitudinal Experiences:

  • Interdisciplinary Pain Clinic
  • Primary Aligned Care Team (PACT) Pain
  • Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program (RRTP) non-opioid pain clinic
  • Inpatient Acute Psychiatry & Detoxification Service
  • Pain Education Class 

Monthly Required Learning Experiences:

  • Specialty Pain Clinic
  • Acute Psychiatry & Substance Abuse/Detoxification
  • Pain Psychology
  • ED/Urgent Care
  • Pain E-Consult Service/OSI
  • Inpatient Pain Management
  • Pain Pathophysiology
    • Rheumatology
    • Neurology
    • HIV
    • Dialysis
    • Interventional Pain Management
  • Hospice/Palliative Care


Elective Learning Experiences:

  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R)
  • Research
  • Spinal Cord Injury Clinic
  • Geriatrics



  • United States citizen
  • Earned Doctor of Pharmacy from accredited college of pharmacy
  • Graduate of an ASHP-accredited PGY1 residency program
  • Must submit application materials through PhORCAS


  • Letter of intent
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Official college of pharmacy transcript
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation using standard template in PhORCAS (no longer requiring formal letters of recommendation)


All application materials are due no later than January 6th.  Qualified applicants will be notified of a formal interview date no later than February 15th.



Please use Pharmacy Online Residency Centralized Application Service, PhORCAS, to apply at

For Information, Please Contact:

PGY2 Residency Program Director: Tim Atkinson, Pharm.D. BCPS at
Current PGY2 Resident: Bekki Burch at; Carla Figura at