Because it can have a huge impact on your care. If you are being referred to a pain specialist, ask your referring doctor if the pain specialist is ACGME certified as non-ACGME pain specialists have not gone through an approved, formalized training program. The reason we bring this up is that there are many local pain specialists who are not ACGME board certified, and it is your right to request to be seen by a pain specialist with formalized and approved training. Dr. Kalra, Dr. Longton, and Dr. Shinaman have this training at Harvard, Stanford, and the Mayo Clinic respectively.
Pain medicine is the discipline of medicine that specializes in the management of patients suffering from acute or chronic pain, or pain in patients requiring palliative care. The management of acute and chronic pain syndromes is a complex matter involving many areas of interest and different medical disciplines. Clinical and investigative efforts are vital to the progress of the specialty. All pain specialists, regardless of their primary specialty, should be competent in pain assessment, formulation, and coordination of a multiple modality treatment plan, integration of pain treatment with primary disease management and palliative care, and interaction with other members of a multidisciplinary team. Therefore, the didactic and clinical curriculum of the pain program must address attainment of these competencies. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is a private, non-profit council that evaluates and accredits this training for the 8000+ ACGME approved programs in the country.
"Sadly, my husband passed away. I want to express my deepest thanks to Dr. Longton and Dr. Kalra for all their efforts to alleviate his pain. Dr. Longton and Dr. Kalra helped to mitigate the effects of cancer and to allow my husband, even if only for a brief time, to feel he could enjoy some time with his family as himself. Your continued treatment at the hospice was so appreciated, and I will always remain grateful that you and Dr. Kalra were his physicians."