Dr. lrakli Soulakvelidze specializes in treating all kinds of chronic pain and is particularly interested in spinal and neuropathic pain and complex regional pain syndrome. As director of the UW Pain Fellowship from july 2013 to january 2015, he was involved in the education of pain fellows and anesthesia residents. Dr. Soulakvelidze’s long-time interest has been studying the scientific and medical underpinnings of contemplative traditions of mindfulness and compassion. This interest led him to pursue teacher training in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) through the University of Massachusetts and compassion cultivation training through Stanford. In 2015, Dr. Soulakvelidze became a certified teacher in each discipline. These teacher-training qualifications allowed Dr. Soulakvelidze to provide compassion cultivation training to faculty and graduate students at UW Medical Center. As of late December, he’s teaching “The Science and Practice of Empathy and Compassion Cultivation in Medicine,” a new class for medical students.
Dr. Soulakvelidze’s next major effort is to offer MBSR, an evidence-based treatment, to chronic pain clinic patients. (The University of Massachusetts, the University of Pittsburg and the UW have all performed major randomized controlled trials on the subject.) Discussions with UW Medical Center leadership are underway about introducing MBSR to chronic pain clinic patients, which would create a pathway for developing a robust clinical research program.