In my first year practicing clinical pain medicine, my private group dissolved due to COVID-19. I wish this experience was unique to just me. With the pandemic ravaging the United States, so much has changed in pain medicine this year. For recent pain fellowship graduates, our clinical exposure, job opportunities, and day-to-day practices have all been vastly altered.

I completed my fellowship in June 2019 and enthusiastically started working with a well-reputed private practice just south of Boston, splitting my time equally between anesthesia and pain medicine. Our group had been serving a large community hospital since the 1960s. Like many “old-school” practices, we were entirely fiscally independent. We employed 19 physicians (five also doing pain), 35 CRNAs, and about 10 back-office staff with 100% of our revenue coming from our own insurance billing.

Elective surgical cases and in-person...

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