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Pain medicine training: FPM essentials

This guide contains resources intended to support and assist in preparing to commence pain medicine training, with specific reference to the Essentials Topic Areas (ETAs). Note: They are not intended to be exclusive, rather to stimulate interest and encourage learning.

A Note on Resources

Further resources each of the Essential Topic Areas (ETAs) is available via Networks.

Key for ETA references
NA Reference unavailable online or as PDF
OA Link to open access publication
EZ Link to paid access publication via the ANZCA Library
PDF PDF available in Networks, linked here to PubMed abstract (or similar) if available
DD Request from the ANZCA Library via Document Delivery services.

Recommended reading

The essential topic area reading lists are suggested texts for pain medicine trainees to reference during their training program.

ETA 3.1 - Neuropathic pain, and on being a scholar

Essential reading

ArticlesWoolf CJ. Central sensitization: implications for the diagnosis and treatment of pain. Pain. 2011;152(3 Suppl):15. doi:10.1016/j.pain.2010.09.030 

Further reading

Please note: Click here for a more comprehensive list of further reading resources for this Essential Topic Area.

ETA 3.2 - Acute pain, and on being a manager/leader

Essential reading

ArticlesSchug SA, Palmer GM, Scott DA, Halliwell R, Trinca J. 2015. Acute pain management: scientific evidence (4th ed.). Melbourne: Faculty of Pain Medicine. 

ArticlesSchug SA, Scott DA, Mott JF, Halliwell R, Palmer GM, Alcock M; APM:SE Working Group of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and Faculty of Pain Medicine. 2020.  Acute pain management: scientific evidence (5th ed.). Melbourne: ANZCA & FPM. 

Articles​Macintyre PE, Loadsman JA, Scott DA. 2011. ‘Opioids, ventilation and acute pain management’. Anaesthesia and intensive care 39 (4): 545–58. EZ

ArticlesMacintyre PE, Schug SA. 2015. Acute pain management: a practical guide (4th ed.). Boca Raton: CRC Press. NA

Further reading

Please note: Click here for a more comprehensive list of further reading resources for this Essential Topic Area.

ETA 3.3 - Spinal pain, and on being a scholar

Essential reading

Articles Apkarian AV, Robinson JP. 2010. ‘Low back pain’. IASP Pain Clinical Updates XVIII (6):1–6. PDF

Articles Bogduk, N, Fraifeld, EM. 2010. ‘Proof or consequences: who shall pay for the evidence in pain medicine?’. Pain medicine 11 (1): 1–2. EZ


Bogduk, N. 2005. ‘A narrative review of intra-articular corticosteroid injections for low back pain’. Pain medicine 6 (4): 287–96. EZ

ArticlesChou, R, Huffman, LH. 2007. ‘Medications for acute and chronic low back pain: A review of the evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians clinical practice guideline’. Annals of internal medicine 147: 505–14. OA

ArticlesSchiltenwolf, M, Fischer, C, Kunz, P. 2011. ‘How perfect studies may be? Comment on Peng et al. ‘A randomized placebo-controlled trial of intradiscal methylene blue injection for the treatment of chronic discogenic low back pain’. Pain 149: 124–9’. Pain 152 (4): 954–5. PDF

Further reading

Please note: Click here for a more comprehensive list of further reading resources for this Essential Topic Area.

ETA 3.4 - Problematic substance use, and on being a professional

Essential reading

ArticlesVerma A, St Clair EW, Radtke RA. A case of sustained massive gabapentin overdose without serious side effects. Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. 1999;21(6):615-617.

ArticlesPassik SD, Kirsh KL, Whitcomb L, et al. A new tool to assess and document pain outcomes in chronic pain patients receiving opioid therapy. Clinical therapeutics. 2004;26(4):552-561.

ArticlesPassik S.D, Casper D, Kirsh K.L. Addiction-related assessment tools and pain management: instruments for screening, treatment planning, and monitoring compliance. Pain medicine. 2008;9(Suppl. 2):166. 

ArticlesRoyal Australian College of General Practioners. An introduction to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health cultural protocols and perspectives. Royal Australian College of General Practioners. South Melbourne. 2012.

ArticlesAustralian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights. ACSQHC: 2012.

WebsiteAustralian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare website. 

WebsiteAustralian Indigenous HealthInfoNet website.

ArticlesMedical Council of New Zealand. 2008. Best health outcomes for Māori: practice implications. Medical Council of New Zealand. Wellington. [web archive].

ArticlesBurns E, Gray R, Smith LA. Brief screening questionnaires to identify problem drinking during pregnancy: a systematic review. Addiction. 2010;105(4):601-614.

ArticlesGeneste J, Pereira B, Arnaud B, Christol N, Liotier J, Blanc O, et al. CAGE, RAPS4, RAPS4-QF and AUDIT screening tests for men and women admitted for acute alcohol intoxication to an emergency department: are standard thresholds appropriate? Alcohol and Alcoholism. 2012 May-Jun;47(3):273-81.

ArticlesKlein-Schwartz W, Shepherd JG, Gorman S, Dahl B. Characterization of gabapentin overdose using a poison center case series. Journal of Toxicology Clinical Toxicology. 2003;41(1):11-15.

ArticlesDangerous addiction – should doctors be tested for drug use? The Conversation, May 25, 2012.

ArticlesAdams LL, Gatchel RJ, Robinson RC, et al. Development of a self-report screening instrument for assessing potential opioid medication misuse in chronic pain patients. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2004;27(5):440-459.

ArticlesMarshall EJ. Doctors’ health and fitness to practise: treating addicted doctors. Occupational Medicine, 2008;58(5):334–340.

ArticlesRobinson G. Doctors’ poor health – still an issue? Newsletter of the Medical Council of New Zealand, 2008;(46):7-8. [web archive]

ArticlesNSW Ministry of Health. 2008. Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Clinical Practice Guidelines - NSW.

ArticlesRubinsky AD, Kivlahan DR, Volk RJ, Maynard C, Bradley KA. Estimating risk of alcohol dependence using alcohol screening scores. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2010;108(1-2):29-36.

ArticlesBallantyne JC, Fleisher LA. Ethical issues in opioid prescribing for chronic pain. Pain. 2010;148(3):365-367. 

ArticlesRich BA. 2007. Ethics of Opioid Analgesia for Chronic Noncancer Pain. Pain: Clinical Updates, 2007;15(9).

ArticlesMcPherson KM, Harwood M, McNaughton HK. Ethnicity, equity and quality: lessons from new zealand (nga mātawaka, nga āhua tika me nga painga: nga ākoranga no aotearoa). Quality & Safety in Health Care. 2003;12(4):237-238.

ArticlesSchauer SG, Varney SM. Gabapentin overdose in a military beneficiary. Military Medicine. 2013;178(1):133-135.

ArticlesLewis SS, Hutchinson MR, Zhang Y, et al. Glucuronic acid and the ethanol metabolite ethyl-glucuronide cause toll-like receptor 4 activation and enhanced pain. Brain behavior and immunity. 2013;30:24-32.

ArticlesHaber P, Australia. Department of Health and Ageing. Guidelines for the Treatment of Alcohol Problems. Canberra: Dept. of Health and Ageing; 2009.

ArticlesLee K, Freeburn B, Ella S, Miller W, Perry J, Conigrave K. 2012. Handbook for Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Work. The University of Sydney, Discipline of Addiction Medicine, Sydney Medical School.

WebsiteMedical Council of New Zealand. 2014. Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (HPCAA) webpage.

ArticlesTeasdale KE, Conigrave KM, Kiel KA, Freeburn B, Long G, Becker K. Improving services for prevention and treatment of substance misuse for aboriginal communities in a sydney area health service. Drug and Alcohol Review. 2008;27(2):152-159.

ArticlesGunja N. In the zzz zone: the effects of z-drugs on human performance and driving. Journal of Medical Toxicology. 2013;9(2):163-171.

ArticlesBrötz D, Maschke E, Burkard S, et al. Is there a role for benzodiazepines in the management of lumbar disc prolapse with acute sciatica? Pain. 2010;149(3):470-475. 


Medical Council of New Zealand’s supporting doctors’ health webpage.

WebsiteNew Zealand Ministry of Health’s Māori health website.

ArticlesChou R, Fanciullo GJ, Fine PG, Miaskowski C, Passik SD, Portenoy RK. Opioids for chronic noncancer pain: prediction and identification of aberrant drug-related behaviors: a review of the evidence for an American pain society and American academy of pain medicine clinical practice guideline. The Journal of Pain : Official Journal of the American Pain Society.

Articles​Passik SD, Kirsh KL, Donaghy KB, Portenoy RK. Pain and aberrant drug-related behaviors in medically ill patients with and without histories of substance abuse. The Clinical Journal of Pain. 2006;22(2):173-181.

Articles​Chabal C, Erjavec MK, Jacobson L, Mariano A, Chaney E. Prescription opiate abuse in chronic pain patients: clinical criteria, incidence, and predictors. The Clinical Journal of Pain. 1997;13(2):150-155.

Articles​Rosen A, Wilson A, Randal P, et al. Psychiatrically impaired medical practitioners: better care to reduce harm and life impact, with special reference to impaired psychiatrists. Australasian Psychiatry : Bulletin of Royal Australian and New zealand College of Psychiatrists. 2009;17(1):11-18. 

Articles​Haber P, Lintzeris N, Proude E, Lopatko O. 2009. Quick reference guide to the treatment of alcohol problems: companion document to the guidelines for the treatment of alcohol problems. Australian Government Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing.

Website​Doctors' health and wellbeing. ANZCA.

Articles​Compton P, Darakjian J, Miotto K. Screening for addiction in patients with chronic pain and “problematic” substance use:evaluation of a pilot assessment tool. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 1998;16(6):355-363.

ArticlesBelgrade MJ, Schamber CD, Lindgren BR. The dire score: predicting outcomes of opioid prescribing for chronic pain. Journal of Pain. 2006;7(9):671-681. 


World Health Organization (WHO), Carter A, Hall W. 2007. The ethical use of psychosocially assisted pharmacological treatments for opioid dependence.

WebsiteAustralian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. 2014. The National Law mandatory notifications webpage.

WebsiteTōmaiora Māori Health Research Group. Tōmaiora Māori health research group website.

ArticlesGourlay DL, Heit HA, Almahrezi A. Universal precautions in pain medicine: a rational approach to the treatment of chronic pain. Pain Medicine. 2005;6(2):107-112. 

Further reading

Please note: Click here for a more comprehensive list of further reading resources for this Essential Topic Area.

ETA 3.5 - Visceral pain, and on being a collaborator

Essential reading

Articles Baranowski, AP. 2009. ‘Chronic pelvic pain’. Best practice & research clinical gastroenterology 23: 593–610. 

Articles Gerwin, RD. 2002. ‘Myofascial and visceral pain syndromes: visceral-somatic pain representations’. Journal of musculoskeletal pain 10 (1-1): 165–75. DD


Messelink, B, Baranowski, AP, Hughes, J. 2015. Abdominal and Pelvic Pain: From Definition to Best Practice. IASP Press. 

ArticlesSikandar, S, Dickenson, AH. 2012. ‘Visceral pain: the ins and outs, the ups and downs’. Current opinion in supportive and palliative care 6 (1): 17–26. DD

Further reading

Please note: Click here for a more comprehensive list of further reading resources for this Essential Topic Area.

ETA 3.6 - Pain related to cancer, and on being a scholar

Essential reading

 The Journal of Clinical Oncology 32 (16), 2014. PDFArticles

Further reading

Please note: Click here for a more comprehensive list of further reading resources for this Essential Topic Area.

ETA 3.7 - Headache and orofacial pain, and on being a health advocate

Essential reading

ArticlesAmerican Academy of Neurology. 2012. Headache guide. OA

ArticlesEvers, S, Afra, J, Frese, A, Goadsby, PJ, Linde, M, May, A, Sandor, PS. 2009. ‘European Federation of Neurological Societies: EFNS guideline on the drug treatment of migraine – revised report of an EFNS task force’. European journal of neurology 16 (9): 968–81. DD


IHS. 2013. ‘The international classification of headache disorders (3rd ed., beta version)’. Cephalalgia 33 (9): 629–808. OA

ArticlesMokri, B. 2013.‘Spontaneous low pressure, low CSF volume headaches: spontaneous CSF leaks’. Headache 53: 1034–53. EZ

ArticlesMolnár, L , Simon, É, et al. 2014. ‘Postcraniotomy headache’. Journal of anesthesia 28 (1): 102–11. EZ

ArticlesRashmi, B, Halker, E, et al. 2011. ‘Chronic daily headache: an evidence-based and systematic approach to a challenging problem’. Neurology 76: s37-s43. OA

Further reading

Please note: Click here for a more comprehensive list of further reading resources for this Essential Topic Area.

ETA 3.8 - Complex regional pain syndrome(s), and on being a communicator

Essential reading

 ArticlesBruehl, S. 2010. ‘An update on the pathophysiology of complex regional pain syndrome’. Anesthesiology 113 (3): 713–25. PDF

Articles de Jong, JR, Vlaeyen, JW, de Gelder, JM, Patijn, J. 2011. ‘Pain-related fear, perceived harmfulness of activities, and functional limitations in complex regional pain syndrome type I’. The journal of pain 12 (12): 1209–18. EZ


Harden, RN, Oaklander, AL, Burton, AW, Perez, RS, Richardson, K, Swan, M, et al. 2013. ‘Complex regional pain syndrome: practical diagnostic and treatment guidelines (4th edition)’. Pain medicine 14 (2): 180–229. EZ

ArticlesLegrain, V, Bultitude, JH, de Paepe, AL, Rossetti, Y. 2012. ‘Pain, body, and space: what do patients with complex regional pain syndrome really neglect?’ Pain 153 (5): 948–51. PDF

ArticlesLohnberg, JA, Altmaier, EM. 2013. ‘A review of psychosocial factors in complex regional pain syndrome’. Journal of clinical psychology in medical settings 20 (2): 247–54. EZ

ArticlesMarinus, J, Moseley, GL, Birklein, F, Baron, R, Maihofner, C, Kingery, WS et al. 2011. ‘Clinical features and pathophysiology of complex regional pain syndrome’. Lancet neurology 10 (7): 637–48. EZ

Articles​Shibuya, N, Humphers, JM, Agarwal, MR, Jupiter, DC. 2013. ‘Efficacy and safety of high-dose vitamin C on complex regional pain syndrome in extremity trauma and surgery: systematic review and meta-analysis’. Journal of foot and ankle surgery 52 (1): 62–6. PDF

Further reading

Please note: Click here for a more comprehensive list of further reading resources for this Essential Topic Area.

ETA 3.9 - Chronic widespread pain, and on being a communicator

Essential reading


Cohen, M, Quintner, J, Buchanan, D, Nielsen, A, Guy, L. 2011. ‘Stigmatization of patients with chronic pain: the “dark side” of empathy’. Pain medicine 12 (11): 1637–43. EZ

Articles Lyon, P, Cohen, ML, Quintner, JL. 2008. ‘An evolutionary stress-response hypothesis for chronic widespread pain (Fibromyalgia Syndrome)’. Pain medicine 12 (8): 1167–78. EZ


Quintner, JL, Cohen, ML, Buchanan D, Katz, J, Williamson, OW. 2008. ‘Pain medicine and its models: Helping or Hindering?’. Pain medicine 9 (7): 824–34. EZ


Wessely, S, Nimnuan, C, Sharpe, M. 1999. ‘Functional somatic syndromes: one or many?’. The Lancet 354 (9182): 936 -939. DD

Further reading

Please note: Click here for a more comprehensive list of further reading resources for this Essential Topic Area.

ANZCA acknowledges the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises their unique cultural and spiritual relationships to the land, waters and seas and their rich contribution to society. We pay our respects to ancestors and Elders, past, present, and emerging.

ANZCA acknowledges and respects Māori as the Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa and is committed to upholding the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, fostering the college’s relationship with Māori, supporting Māori fellows and trainees, and striving to improve the health of Māori.