Good pain physicians are dying. Recently, Dr. Todd Graham was shot dead in a parking lot over refusing to prescribe opioids to a man’s wife. Physicians who care deeply and try to do the right thing are being murdered for not prescribing opioids. I prescribe very few opioids in my chronic pain practice. I do so in a judicious and safe manner for my patients. I have excellent training, and I ...

Read more...

Tom’s feet are shackled so he can’t bolt from the hospital bed when the prison guard isn’t looking. The guard places handcuffs on him when he walks to the bathroom and stands just outside the door as Tom relieves himself. Despite being treated for a deep tissue infection in one finger, Tom is in generally good shape — lean but muscular with the strong hands of a workman. Back in ...

Read more...

The impact of the opioid crisis struck home within the Missouri physician community on Dec. 15, 2014. That’s the day when, just two months shy of his 30th birthday, Derek succumbed to an opioid overdose. The news was devastating for his mother, Kelly O’Leary, a longtime volunteer with the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society Alliance, and her husband Timothy O’Leary, MD, a radiation ...

Read more...

There was her 28-year-old daughter lifeless in an ICU bed. Her name was Tricia, and she had dabbled with drugs since she was 15. As a child, she was artistic, adventurous, and always found excitement with other kids who tended to do risky things. She'd justify their behavior and say they were more fun and had better personalities. Eventually, her mom and dad moved to a small town thinking it would be ...

Read more...

As of July 1, pharmacies in Maine cannot honor paper or telephone prescriptions for controlled substances, from OxyContin down to Valium, Lyrica, and Tylenol with codeine. EPCS, or electronic prescribing of controlled substances, is a double security step in the prescription process built into EMRs, electronic medical records. It involves another password entry and the use of one-time passwords from a small number generator issued to each prescriber. It has been said ...

Read more...

An open letter to doctors still prescribing opioid medication when necessary: Thank you so much for standing up for us pain patients. My chronic pain comes from a genetic connective tissue disorder (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), so there is no treatment or cure for my slow, but relentless, physical deterioration as the collagen holding my body together falls apart. I, like so many other pain patients, spent years (1982-1995) trying other therapies (yoga, acupuncture, ...

Read more...

A guest column by the American Society of Anesthesiologists, exclusive to KevinMD.com. Alleviating pain has been a primary focus of my career as a physician anesthesiologist. Just as there are physicians who specialize in treating conditions such as cancer, heart disease or allergies, there are specialists in treating pain. These physicians complete four years of ...

Read more...

STAT_Logo

One of the privileges of being a health care provider these days is having access to innovative technologies designed to help save lives. My colleagues and I were recently surprised to discover a powerful tool that could be useful in our line of work: journalists.

I am part of an interdisciplinary team that focuses on finding ...

Read more...

Pain is not a vital sign. It cannot be measured objectively, nor does an extreme value portend crisis as in the case of pulse or blood pressure. The myopic focus on pain in recent decades has been misguided and deleterious, and the opioid crisis is the result. Now, like ostriches with our heads in the sand, we are again playing victims instead of wielding power when we allow customer satisfaction ...

Read more...

The opioid overdose epidemic was the centerpiece of U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, MD’s West Virginia listening tour recently. While the tour was billed as an opportunity to gain knowledge on the epidemic, his response to his observations illustrates just how difficult it is to change attitudes and beliefs with information alone. In response to Herculean state-based and volunteer efforts to keep people alive -- not to ...

Read more...

12 Pages

Most Popular