Photo of James P. Rathmell, MD

James P. Rathmell, MD

  • Executive Vice Chair, Department of Anesthesia Critical Care and Pain Medicine
  • Chief, Division of Pain Medicine


Not Accepting New Patients



Anesthesia, Critical Care & Pain Medicine

Clinical Interests
  • Pain medicine
  • Anesthesiology
Medical Education
  • MD, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • Residency, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Board Certifications
  • Anesthesiology
  • Pain Medicine
  • Boston: Massachusetts General Hospital
Insurances Accepted
  • Aetna Health Inc.
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Blue Care 65
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Indemnity
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Managed Care
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield - Partners Plus
  • Centene/Celticare
  • Cigna (PAL #'s)
  • Fallon Community HealthCare
  • Great-West Healthcare (formally One Health Plan)
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - ACD
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan - PBO
  • Health Care Value Management (HCVM)
  • Humana/Choice Care PPO
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Medicare - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - ACD
  • Neighborhood Health Plan - PBO
  • OSW - Maine
  • OSW - New Hampshire
  • OSW - Rhode Island
  • OSW - Vermont
  • Private Health Care Systems (PHCS)
  • Railroad Medicare
  • Railroad Medicare - ACD
  • Senior Whole Health
  • TriCare
  • Tufts Health Plan
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - ACD
  • United Healthcare (non-HMO) - PBO
Patient Age Group

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Clinical Care: I devote the majority of my professional time to the direct care of patients with acute, chronic, and cancer-related pain. My clinical expertise and much of my research has focused on the treatment of pain related to disorders of the spine.

Education: Outside of the pain clinic, my focus has been on improving medical education for physicians and physicians-in-training. Through direct teaching in the classroom, continuing medical education activities around the world, and publication of original research and textbooks, my aim is to improve the care of patients with painful disorders. I have dedicated much of my professional career to improving the training of physicians specializing in the field of pain medicine. Some of my past and present roles in medical education include:

* Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education: Member, RRC for Anesthesiology
* American Board of Anesthesiology: Member, Pain Medicine Examination Committee; Associate (Oral Board) Examiner
* American Society of Anesthesiologists: Associate Editor, Anesthesiology; Member, Committee on Research; Member, Committee on Academic Anesthesiology; Member, Committee on Professional Liability; Past Chair, Committee on Pain Medicine
* American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine: Associate Editor-in-Chief, Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine; Member, Board of Directors; Past Chair, Annual Pain Meeting Program Committee
* Harvard Medical School: Member, Admissions Subcommittee 4; Lecturer, Advanced Clinical Pharmacology

Research: The thrust of my research is to examine the effectiveness of new and emerging treatments for pain through a blend of investigator-initiated and industry-sponsored trials. Many of my publications have involved critical appraisal of the safety and effectiveness of specific interventions used in pain medicine. Much of this work has been assembled in recent textbooks. (Please see "publications" tab.)

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Research & Publications

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1. Rathmell JP, Neal JM, Viscomi CV. Requisites in Anesthesia: Regional Anesthesia, Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2004.
2. Rathmell, JP. Atlas of Image-Guided Intervention in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine and Complications in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2006.
3. Neal JM, Rathmell JP. Complications in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2007.
4. Benzon HT, Rathmell JP, Wu C, Argoff C. Raj's Practical Management of Pain, 3rd Edition. Elsevier, Philadelphia, 2008.

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News & Events

  • James Rathmell named first Beecher professor

    James P. Rathmell, MD, executive vice chair and chief of the Division of Pain Medicine in the MGH Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, has been named as the inaugural incumbent of the Henry Knowles Beecher Professorship of Anesthesia.


Center for Pain Medicine
15 Parkman Street
Boston MA, 02114-3117
Phone: 617-726-8810
Fax: 617-726-3441
Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine
55 Fruit Street
Boston MA, 02114-2696
Phone: 617-726-3030

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