Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier, III, M.D

Dr. Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III is a retired U.S. Army Colonel and the Program Director and Principal Investigator for the Uniformed Services University (USU) Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management (DVCIPM) under the department of Military Emergency Medicine. He is Program Director Emeritus of the National Capital Consortium’s Regional Anesthesia Fellowship Program at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Professor in Anesthesiology at the USU, and a Diplomat with the American Board of Anesthesiology.

He attended Catawba College on a Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) scholarship, graduating with a Biology degree in 1986.  He then attended East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., receiving a Master of Science in Biology in 1988. In 1992, he graduated from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, completing his Anesthesia residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. In addition, he completed a one-year fellowship in Regional Anesthesia at Duke University in 2002, resulting in the creation of the only Acute Pain Medicine fellowship in the Department of Defense, based at Walter Reed.

In September 2003, he deployed with the 21st Combat Support Hospital to Balad, Iraq, and demonstrated that the use of advanced regional anesthesia can be accomplished in a forward deployed environment.  He performed the first successful continuous peripheral nerve block for pain management in a combat support hospital. In April 2009, he deployed to Camp Bastion, Afghanistan with the British military and organized the first acute pain service in a theatre of war. Author and Co-Editor of the Acute and Perioperative Pain section in Pain Medicine, he is extensively published in pain medicine, particularly as it relates to combat wounded. He also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of U.S. Medicine with a monthly column on topics of federal medicine interest.


Federal Medicine and Pain Management: An Opportunity for Acupuncture (1.5 PDA points)
The relationship between poorly managed pain, opioid use disorder, and poor rehabilitation and recovery in combat casualties was recognized early during the last 18 years of conflict. In response, the military commissioned the Pain Management Task Force in 2009 to review the status of military pain management and make recommendations for improvements in pain care to enhance recovery and reduce dependence on opioid therapy.  Integrative health modalities, like acupuncture, were determined to be effective, evidence-based, non-pharmacologic options for pain management but were underutilized. In this discussion, federal medicine efforts to establish acupuncture as a pain treatment option and the challenges associated with this goal will be outlined.