Education Session AAPM&R


Read AAPMRs Opioid Position Statement

Navigating the Opioid Crisis: Perils, Pitfalls, and Practical Solutions

This course is provided by AAPM&R in collaboration with NYU School of Medicine.

November 30-December 1, 2018

NYU Langone Health

Smilow Seminar Room
550 First Avenue
New York, NY 10016


The opioid crisis has been declared a national emergency.  Physiatrists are at the forefront of treatment of acute and chronic pain conditions, and are frequently asked to manage pain as a method of improving function in inpatient and outpatient settings.

This course is designed to assist practicing physiatrists in the management of opioid therapy, including alternative treatments to opioids in treating chronic pain.  It is intended to be a real world, clinically applicable series of didactic presentations and interactive case discussions. The participants should leave the course feeling confident in their ability to prescribe opioids safely with a high degree of efficacy, and to be able to protect themselves and their patients from the potential ramifications of opioid prescription. 


"This is a critical course during a critical time for practicing physiatrists across the nation. This practical and unique course brings together the experts and thought leaders from across the country to help you better understand and navigate the rocky waters of pain management in a physiatric practice.  This is a must discourse for all practicing physiatrists that touches upon all medico-legal-societal issues."- Charles Kim, MD, CAc, FAAPMR Course Director


Nagpal_headshot"The opioid epidemic has garnered international press over the last few years.  Exposes regarding opioids have been features in Time Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times, just to name a few. In fact, the opioid crisis has been labeled a public health emergency in the United States. Physiatrists should be on the cutting edge of all research related to rational and safe prescription of opioids and alternative treatments for acute, subacute, and chronic pain. This course is designed to educate our fellow Physiatrists and also to create community leaders in opioid management.  I believe that this course will present necessary information for all Physiatrists to know and therefore is a can't
                          miss opportunity.
" - Ameet Nagpal, MD, MS, MEd, FAAPMR, Course Director

Sharma_headshot"Physicians are well aware of the risks associated with opioids and have been strongly encouraged to reduce opioid prescriptions but have not received concise, practical information on how to best minimize and manage opioids. This course fills that void and empowers physicians treating pain. It provides a forum for concrete discussions and useful recommendations including the exploration of non-opioid treatments." - Saloni Sharma, MD, FAAPMR, Course Director



Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Implement practical techniques for managing patients using safe prescription of opioids.
  • Apply integrative medicine and non-opioid adjuvant treatments in practice.
  • Employ risk stratification tools for patients regarding their potential for opioid abuse, misuse, and addiction.
  • Optimize practice strategies and patient satisfaction in situations in which opioid therapy is not indicated.
  • Employ safeguards to ensure personal safety when treating patients using opioids
  • Obtain an overview and understanding of the federal laws and regulations pertaining to controlled substance prescribing.

Who Should Attend:

This course is designed for physiatrists* who treat patients with pain in the inpatient and outpatient settings, including both opioid and non-opioid strategies.

*While the course is designed for physiatrists, any physicians or advanced practice providers are welcome to attend.

Directors and Faculty:

Course Directors

Charles Kim, MD, Cac, FAAPMR
Assistant Professor Rehabilitation Medicine, Anesthesiology, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY 

Ameet Nagpal, MD, MS, Med, FAAPMR
Assistant Professor, UT Health San Antonio, Department of Anesthesiology, San Antonio, TX

Saloni Sharma, MD, FAAPMR
Rothman Institute, Assistant Professor, Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA 


James “Jim” Arnold
Chief, Policy & Liaison Section, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. 

Patricia A. Bloom, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY

Joanne Borg-Stein, MD, FAAPMR
Associate Professor of PM&R, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Mehul J. Desai, MD, MPH, FAAPMR
Medical Director, International Spine, Pain and Performance Center, Washington DC

Maxim S. Eckmann, MD
Executive Medical Director of Pain Medicine, Director, Interventional Pain Therapy at St. Lukes Baptist Hospital; Director, Translational Research, Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, UT Health San Antonio, TX

Erik R. Ensrud, MD, FAAPMR
Associate Professor at Oregon health and Science University, Portland, OR

Christopher G. Gharibo, MD
Medical Director of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, New York University School of Medicine, NY

Ari C. Greis, DO, FAAPMR
Clinical Assistant Professor, Rothman Institute, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA

Marco Pappagallo, MD
Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY

Steven P. Stanos, DO, FAAPMR
Medical Director, Swedish Pain Services, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle, WA

R. Corey Waller, MD, MS
Managing Partner / Chair, Complex Care Consulting, LLC / Legislative Advocacy Committee American

Directors and Faculty are subject to change.



Friday, November 30

7:00 am – 8:00 am:                              Breakfast & Registration

8:00 am – 8:30 am:                              Welcoming Remarks, Course Format

8:30 am – 9:15 am:                              The Epidemiology of the Epidemic
Maxim S. Eckmann, MD

9:15 am – 10:00 am:                            So You’re Going to Prescribe An Opioid: Indications,
                                                                Management, Monitoring, & Expectations
Marco Pappagallo, MD

                                                                 This session will provide a high-level overview of the clinical
                                                                 indications for opioid therapy in the management of patients
                                                                 with chronic disabling pain, introduce the key concepts in opioid
                                                                 monitoring, including compliance and risk mitigation measures
                                                                 to adopt based on current standard care and CDC guidelines,
                                                                 and briefly discuss directions and expectations on the future of
                                                                 opioid therapy in pain care.

10:00 am – 10:30 am:                          Break

10:30 am – 11:30 am:                          The DEA, Medical Practitioners, and the Opioid Epidemic
                                                                 James “Jim” Arnold, Chief, Liaison & Policy Diversion Control
                                                                Division, DEA Headquarters

11:30 am – 12:00 pm:                          Q&A

12:00 pm – 12:45 pm:                          Lunch                                       

12:45 pm – 1:30 pm:                            So You’re NOT Going To Prescribe Opioids: The Burden of
                                                                Patient Satisfaction

Steven P. Stanos, DO, FAAPMR
                                                                This session will discuss strategies for how to “satisfy” patients 
                                                                and protect your practice while providing appropriate care to 
                                                                patients seeking opioids when they are not clinically indicated.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm:                              Practice Safety:  Protecting Yourself and Your Staff from
R. Corey Waller, MD, MS
A physiatrist was recently murdered in relation to a refused
                                                                 request for an opioid prescription. This session is to provide
                                                                 participants with strategies for recognizing warning signs that
                                                                 a  patient may be dangerous and practical safeguards and
                                                                 strategies for protecting your patients, staff, and self.

2:30 pm – 3:00 pm:                              Break

3:00 pm – 5:00 pm:                              Interactive Case Discussion: Recognizing and Treating
                                                                Addiction, and How to Manage Challenging Patient
                                                                Moderators:  Charles Kim, MD, CAc, FAAPMR, 
                                                                Saloni Sharma, MD, FAAPMR
                                                                Faculty:  Maxim S. Eckmann, MD, Marco Pappagallo, MD, 
                                                                Steven P. Stanos, DO, FAAPMR, R. Corey Waller, MD, MS

                                                                This case-based session will focus on different aspects of
                                                                recognizing and managing patients at risk for or suffering from
                                                                opioid addiction, and unique and challenging patient scenarios
                                                                that physiatrists may face in day-to-day practice of pain and 
                                                                opioid management.  Participants are invited to bring their own
                                                                cases to share and get feedback.

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm:                              Reception

Saturday, December 1

7:00 am – 8:00 am:                              Breakfast

8:00 am – 8:15 am:                              Welcome and Debrief from Day 1: Any questions or hot

8:15 am – 9:00 am:                              Opioid Communication with Referral Sources: Educating
                                                                Other Providers
                                                                Saloni Sharma, MD, FAAPMR

                                                                This session will include a practical discussion of how to
                                                                partner with other providers such as ER and primary care
                                                                physicians to prepare patients for referral when prescribing

9:00 am – 9:45 am:                              What is the Evidence that Mindfulness is Effective for Pain
                                                                and Addiction?
                                                                Patricia A. Bloom, MD

                                                                Dr. Bloom will use brief experiential practices with participants
                                                                to demonstrate what mindfulness is, and discuss the theoretical
                                                                basis for why it alleviates pain, as well as breaks the cycle of
                                                                addictive behaviors.  She will present the leading studies
                                                                supporting its use as an adjunct to conventional therapy for
                                                                both acute and chronic pain, as well as studies supporting its
                                                                efficacy for addiction, including opioid misuse.  

9:45 am – 10:15 am:                            Break

10:15 am – 11:15 am:                          Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain: An Alternative to Opioids
                                                                Ari C. Greis, DO, FAAPMR

                                                                This session will discuss the evidence base for cannabis as an
                                                                option, as well as regulatory issues from a federal perspective,
                                                                including the ability to prescribe and do research.       

11:15 am – 12:15 pm:                          Interventional Alternatives to Opioids in Pain Management: 
                                                                New Directions
                                                                Charles Kim, MD, CAc, FAAPMR, Saloni Sharma, MD,
                                                                FAAPMR, Ameet Nagpal, MD, MS, MEd, FAAPMR, 
Christopher G. Gharibo, MD

                                                                A series of brief lectures will be presented on new directions in
                                                                interventional alternatives to opioids, including peripheral nerve
                                                                stimulation, high frequency stimulation, DRG, novel rate of
                                                                frequency, and ablation procedures.

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm:                            Lunch

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm:                              Regenerative Medicine for Pain: Evidence-Based Treatment
                                                                 Joanne Borg-Stein, MD, FAAPMR and Mehul J. Desai, MD, 
                                                                MPH, FAAPMR

                                                                This session will provide a comprehensive overview of the
                                                                current state of regenerative medicine, from PRP to more
                                                                advanced and cutting-edge methods.                         

2:30 pm – 2:45 pm:                              Break

2:45 pm – 4:15 pm:                              Bringing it All Together: Swimming with the Sharks - Pitching
                                                                Non-Opioid Treatment Options
                                                                Moderator:  Ameet Nagpal, MD, MS, MEd, FAAPMR
                                                                Faculty:  Patricia A. Bloom, MD, Joanne Borg-
MD, FAAPMR, Mehul J. Desai, MD, MPH, FAAPMR,
                                                                Erik R. Ensrud, MD, FAAPMR, 
Ari C. 
Greis, DO, FAAPMR,
Christopher G. Gharibo, MD

                                                                Specific clinical cases related to managing chronic pain will be
                                                                presented to faculty who will then have 5-8 minutes to present
                                                                their proposed treatment options potentially including
                                                                acupuncture, biofeedback, yoga, cannabis, mindfulness,
                                                                regenerative medicine and more; the “sharks” and the audience
                                                                will engage in an interactive discussion on the multi-
                                                                modal therapies presented.

4:15 pm – 4:30 pm:                              What will you take back to your practice? Parting Thoughts
                                                                and Group Discussion of Key Concepts

4:30 pm:                                                Adjourn


The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation of Credit:

The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) designates this live activity for a maximum of 14.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


Early Bird RateAvailable before October 1

Member - $695
Non-Member - $850

Standard RateAvailable after October 1

Member - $850
Non-Member - $995

Hotel Information:

DoubleTree Hotel New York City - Chelsea
128 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 564-0994

AAPM&R has secured a rate of $259 per night (plus tax) if booked before October 31, 2018. You can book by clicking the link below or calling the hotel phone number above. If calling to book your hotel stay, please reference the “AAPM&R Pain Course”.

Within walking distance are the 28th Street metro station (one block), Penn Station (4 blocks) as well as Fifth Avenue, the High Line and Macy’s in Herald Square. This Madison Square Garden hotel is 1 mile south of Times Square.

Air Travel

As an option, air travel reservations may be made by calling TruTravel Solutions, the official travel partner for AAPM&R.

Phone: 844-878-8728 (x101 or x102)
Email: or

TruTravel Solutions hours are Monday – Friday. 8:30am - 5:00pm (Central Time). TruTravel Solutions charges a $25 per ticket transaction fee.

Cancellation and Change Policy:

All cancellations must be submitted in writing to:

American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Attn: Customer Service
9700 Bryn Mawr Ave, Ste 200
Rosemont, IL 60018

Cancellations will not be accepted over the phone or via email. Refer to your course start date to confirm the cancellation level on the schedule below that you will follow.

Cancellation Levels

60 days prior to course start date (October 1, 2018):
Cancellation Fee = Forfeiture 50% of registration fee

30 days prior to course start date (October 31, 2018):
Forfeiture of 100% (full) registration fee

All refund requests will be processed within 7-14 days once proper notification is received.

Please contact with any questions.

Visit the AAPM&R Pain Management page to learn about additional Academy initiatives.