Established in 2003, the fellowship provides leaders in the pain-management field with the tools and skills to advocate for better treatment for pain. Fellows learn how to better communicate with media and policymakers and to raise the visibility of their issues.

Tsao serves as research director of the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) Pediatric Pain Program and oversees several studies funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her research interests include biopsychosocial models of pain, with a focus on the relationship between pain, anxiety and health outcomes, including pain-related functioning and utilization of conventional and alternative medical care.

Her expertise also extends to the role of psychological factors — particularly anxiety — in laboratory pain responsivity among children and adolescents. Tsao has published extensively in respected journals in the fields of psychology, medicine, pain research and health services research, including evidence-based reviews on complimentary alternative medicine approaches for pain and the role of pain in the use of conventional and complementary health services.

The Mayday fellows for 2007–08 come from across the U.S. and Canada and specialize in a wide range of health care disciplines, including emergency medicine, anaesthesiology, neurology, psychiatry and paediatrics.

As part of their training, fellows learn how to connect with local and national media, write op-ed pieces, develop relationships with university public affairs and government relations leaders, and talk with state legislators and members of Congress. They also develop skills to advocate and communicate on many of the pain issues they deal with every day, including the undertreatment of pain, paediatric pain, chronic pain, palliative care, the treatment of pain with prescription pain medications and disparities in pain treatment.; Source: University of California – Los Angeles