This program provides training in acute and chronic pain management for pediatric patients, with an emphasis on safe and effective opioid use. Topics covered include neurobiology of pain; addiction, abuse and safe opioid prescription practices; licensing, the law and opioid prescribing; treatment of chronic pain; and safe storage and disposal of medications.

This is a free, self-paced, open-enrollment course that may be started and completed at any time. A version of this course providing Continuing Education credit is also available on the Boston Children’s Hospital Learning Cloud.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify safe opioid prescribing practices 
  • Describe the neurobiological mechanisms of acute and chronic pain and how opioid medications relieve pain in these contexts
  • Identify how to assess a patient's level of pain
  • Develop a biopsychosocial approach to treating acute and chronic pain
  • Describe approaches to medication titration based on efficacy, side effect profile, and differences in metabolism/excretion for various patients
  • Describe the epidemiology of opioid misuse/abuse/dependence, including patterns of drug addiction in the clinical setting
  • Identify strategies to adjust prescribing behaviors based on knowledge of patient addiction patterns
  • Describe key aspects of the regulatory frameworks that govern pain medication prescription and use

Suggested Audience

  • Physicians
  • Physician Trainees
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners

Curriculum Director

David Casavant, MD


Dr. David Casavant, Elaine Meyer, PhD, RN (Vignette Development), Dr. Charles Berde, Dr. Kim Boullard, John Costello, Steve Hoffman, Dr. Karen Kaczynski, Dr. Sharon Levy, Dr. Neil Schechter, Dr. Clifford Woolf

Release Date

  • Released: 10/2/2015