Original Article

Korean J Pain 2017; 30(4): 287-295

Published online October 31, 2017 https://doi.org/10.3344/kjp.2017.30.4.287

Copyright © The Korean Pain Society.

State of education regarding ultrasound-guided interventions during pain fellowships in Korea: a survey of recent fellows

Hyung Tae Kim1,10, Sae Young Kim2,10, Gyung Jo Byun3,10, Byung Chul Shin4,10, Jin Young Lee5,10, Eun Joo Choi6,10, Jong Bum Choi7,10, Ji Hee Hong8,10, Seung Won Choi9, and Yeon Dong Kim9,10*

1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Presbyterian Hospital, Jeonju, Korea.

2Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Kyungpook National University Medical Center, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Korea.

3Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan, Korea.

4Mac Pain Clinic, Seoul, Korea.

5Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Korea.

6Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Korea.

7Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Ajou University Hospital, Suwon, Korea.

8Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Daegu, Korea.

9Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Wonkwang University Hospital, School of Medicine, Wonkwang University, Wonkwang Institute of Scinece, Iksan, Korea.

10Committee on Ultrasound in Pain Medicine, Korean Pain Society, Seoul, Korea.

Correspondence to: Yeon Dong Kim. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Wonkwang University Hospital, 895 Muwangro, Iksan 54538, Korea. Tel: +82-63-859-1562, Fax: +82-63-857-5472, kydpain@hanmail.net

Received: August 16, 2017; Revised: September 17, 2017; Accepted: September 19, 2017

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/), which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Recently, the use of ultrasound (US) techniques in regional anesthesia and pain medicine has increased significantly. However, the current extent of training in the use of US-guided pain management procedures in Korea remains unknown. The purpose of the present study was to assess the current state of US training provided during Korean Pain Society (KPS) pain fellowship programs through the comparative analysis between training hospitals.


We conducted an anonymous survey of 51 pain physicians who had completed KPS fellowships in 2017. Items pertained to current US practices and education, as well as the types of techniques and amount of experience with US-guided pain management procedures. Responses were compared based on the tier of the training hospital.


Among the 51 respondents, 14 received training at first- and second-tier hospitals (Group A), while 37 received training at third-tier hospitals (Group B). The mean total duration of pain training during the 1-year fellowship was 7.4 months in Group A and 8.4 months in Group B. Our analysis revealed that 36% and 40% of respondents in Groups A and B received dedicated US training, respectively. Most respondents underwent US training in patient-care settings under the supervision of attending physicians. Cervical root, stellate ganglion, piriformis, and lumbar plexus blocks were more commonly performed by Group B than by Group A (P < 0.05).


Instruction regarding US-guided pain management interventions varied among fellowship training hospitals, highlighting the need for the development of educational standards that mandate a minimum number of US-guided nerve blocks or injections during fellowships in interventional pain management.

Keywords: Education, Fellowship, Injections, Lumbar plexus, Nerve block, Neuronavigation, Pain management, Piriformis muscle, Spinal nerve root, Spine, Training, Ultrasound