James Rathmell

James P. Rathmell, MD, MS, has joined BWHC as chair of the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine.

“Dr. Rathmell is a thoughtful and collaborative leader and a deeply devoted clinician and researcher who brings a depth of experience that will enrich our anesthesiology service and benefit the patients we serve,” said BWHC President Betsy Nabel, MD.

Rathmell is an established leader in pain medicine who has directed much of his time to the care of patients with acute, chronic and cancer-related pain. He has been recognized for enhancing medical education for physicians and trainees through teaching in the classroom, strengthening continuing medical education activities and publishing original research and textbooks. His research will focus on emerging pain treatments and the evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of specific interventions for pain.

Rathmell comes to BWHC from Massachusetts General Hospital, where he was executive vice chair and chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and the Henry Knowles Beecher Professor of Anesthesia at Harvard Medical School. At MGH, Rathmell guided the Center for Pain Medicine to become a successful patient-centered clinical operation, as well as a top-tier fellowship training program.

Among other local and national leadership roles, Rathmell serves as a director for the American Board of Anesthesiology and recently served on the National Institutes of Health Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee’s National Pain Strategy taskforce.

He received the Resident/Fellow Teaching Award from the American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine for his role as teacher and mentor; the Bonica Award from the World Institute of Pain for clinical excellence and education; and the Phillipe M. Lippe Award from the American Academy of Pain Medicine for outstanding contributions to the social and political aspects of pain medicine.

Rathmell received his medical degree and master’s in biochemistry at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C. He completed his internship, residency and research fellowship at Wake University Baptist Medical Center. Rathmell succeeds Bhavani Kodali, MD, who has been interim chair of the department since September 2014, when Charles Vacanti, MD, stepped down as chair.