Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP


Medical Director, Department of Pain Medicine, Palliative Care & Integrative Medicine, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN, USA

Stefan Friedrichsdorf is medical director of the Department of Pain Medicine, Palliative Care and Integrative Medicine at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics in Minnesota, Minneapolis / St. Paul – one of the largest and most comprehensive programs of its kind in the country.

The interdisciplinary pain program is devoted to prevent and treat acute, procedural, neuropathic, psycho-social-spiritual, visceral, and chronic/complex pain for all pediatric patients in close collaboration with all subspecialties at Children’s Minnesota. The palliative care team provides holistic care for pediatric patients with life-limiting diseases and adds an extra layer of support to the care of children with serious illness and their families. Integrative Medicine provides and teaches integrative, non-pharmacological therapies (such as massage, acupuncture/acupressure, biofeedback, aromatherapy, self-hypnosis) to provide care that promotes optimal health and supports the highest level of functioning in all individual child’s activities.

Dr. Friedrichsdorf sees pediatric patients as inpatients, in the interdisciplinary pain clinic, in the palliative care clinic, and/or in the community/at home. He is the sponsor of the system-wide lean value stream “The Comfort Promise: We do everything possible to prevent and treat pain” at Children’s Minnesota to minimize and prevent pain caused by needles for all in- and outpatients. In 2015 the team opened an award winning, unique 10,000 square feet “Healing Environment” Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic.

Dr. Friedrichsdorf received the 2016 “Elizabeth Narcessian Award for Outstanding Educational Achievements in the Field of Pain” by the American Pain Society and the 2011 “Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award”. The department received the “Circle of Life Award” by the American Hospital Association in 2008, was selected as a Palliative Care Leadership Center for the Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC) 2008-2015, and the 2013 recipient of the “Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Award” by the American Pain Society. In 2016 Children’s Minnesota received the prestigious ChildKind International pain relief certification.

Dr. Friedrichsdorf has presented more than 600 lectures about pediatric pain medicine and palliative care in 27 countries on all six continents and has a track record of research and publications in the field, including contributions to more than 20 books on the subject.

Dr. Friedrichsdorf received his MD degree from the Medical University of Lübeck, Germany, completed his pediatric residency at the University of Witten/Herdecke, Germany (Children’s Hospital in Datteln), and undertook his fellowship in Pediatric Pain & Palliative Care at the University of Sydney, Australia (Children’s Hospital at Westmead). He is board certified in Pediatrics, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a diplomate of the American Board of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and trained in hypnosis by the National Pediatric Hypnosis Training Institute.

He is associate editor of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, was the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) / National Cancer Institute (NCI) seven-year multisite study on the creation, implementation and evaluation of a Pediatric Palliative Care Curriculum (EPEC-Pediatrics) 2010-2017 and is course director of the annual week-long “Pediatric Pain Master Class”. Dr. Friedrichsdorf lectures extensively nationally and internationally about pediatric pain medicine & palliative care and has a track record of publications in the field, including contributions to more than 20 books on the subject.

He also has worked as a newspaper delivery boy, tour guide, factory worker, youth group leader, not particularly talented actor, assistant nurse, journalist, paramedic, EMT, lifeguard, and children’s theater director. He is happily married to Ruth (a much smarter pediatrician) and they live with their elementary-school children in groovy Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Selected media & video links:

  • Video: Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic Tour
  • Video: Tour of the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and an overview of the three programs that are offered at Children’s under this clinic.
  • Short Movie: LittleStarsFilm ‘Kali’s Story – Beyond the NICU’: This amazing pediatric palliative care short movie (7 min) features 8-year-old Kali’s journey at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota from NICU to today, receiving care by the Pain & Palliative & Integrative Medicine program while inpatient, in the clinic, and at home (Jan 22, 2015)
  • Stefan Friedrichsdorf: Pain Management in Hospitalized Children – From Schrödinger’s Cat and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle to Myths, Morphine and Multimodal Analgesia. Pediatric Grand Rounds. Stanford Children’s Health. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford, CA. Feb 12, 2016 (58 min)


One thought on “Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, FAAP

  1. Pingback: The Child in Pain, BRAIN, and Neuroethical Issues in Pediatric Pain Research and Care | PELLEGRINO CENTER FOR CLINICAL BIOETHICS BLOG

Leave a Reply