Pain management and addiction

Finding that balance is difficult:

It was Sunday morning on my weekend off and I was stalked by a narcotic seeker. She conned the hospital operator twice into paging me to get around my partner who was on-call. Then she made eight phone calls to my home throughout the day. Thanks to caller ID, I was able to avoid them.

Multiple calls to my house outside of office hours for pain meds is a red flag for a patient with a drug problem. So is using extraordinary measures to work around my on-call partner. I’ve seen both of these warning signs before.

Doctors are often accused of not adequately treating pain and being insensitive to patients’ needs. But they also have found themselves prosecuted or disciplined by licensing boards for prescribing too much pain medication. Trying to find a balance can be tricky.

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  • Anonymous

    You cal always tell, after your first year of practice, I mean. :)
    Drud addicts, go away !

  • Matthew

    Fortunately, Karen Tandy (in her infinite wisdom and extensive medical trainig) has a vague and amorphous definition of what constitutes medical treatment that you can rely on to be totally unreliable.

    As long as you’re on her good side, you’re fine! Only the guilty have reason to fear! The DEA knows better than you do! And don’t forget it. After all, it’s not a war on doctors, they just happen to be the ones being stalked and arrested.

  • Mike

    Look, unless you have cancer, you’re not getting anything from me but Motrin. end of story.

  • Jk

    Note to self: If ever in New York, never allow a doctor named Mike to treat me.

    Seriously Mike, what other medical symptoms to you refuse to treat in anyone with out cancer?

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