By Ed Coghlan.
One of the nation’s leading pain physicians has written a provocative article about the collateral damage that the opioid controversy is inflicting on pain patients.
Dr. Jay Joshi— writing for Quartz Media—declares the medical and scientific communities are reacting by questioning not only the prescription of opioids for treating pain, but the very treatment of pain itself.
“This deeply misguided, if predictable, response threatens to deprive relief millions of Americans of relief from persistent, even debilitating pain. Instead of retreating from treating their pain altogether, we should focus on educating doctors on the multitude of safe, effective methods for treating pain in its various forms,” he writes.
Joshi sees the damage spreading. The American Medical Association is reversing its position on the designation of pain as the fifth vital sign, which many believe promoted the opioid epidemic.
However, no educational guidance has been given toward increasing proper pain management awareness among physicians and other healthcare providers.
That reversal, he writes, “would abandon legitimate chronic-pain patients, who shouldn’t suffer because of an incoherent policy toward pain management.”
Joshi—one of the common sense pain physicians—has contributed to the National Pain Report in the past. 14 months ago he argued strongly that physicians and patients need to stand together—an article that generated significant response at the time.
Joshi provides a little history on pain management
“The medical profession elevated pain to the status of life-threatening conditions in the early 1990s, but never followed up with the education and rigorous controls necessary to treat it,” he writes. “Every other medical specialty has detailed guidelines on how to treat diseases, based on hard science and clinical data to determine the proper balance of risk and reward for a given pharmaceutical or course of treatment.”
Joshi has been critical of the opioid hawks who are trying to severely reduce if not eliminate the prescription of them.
“For example, opioids may be an option for a legitimate patient with chronic, debilitating pain that has failed to resolve with conservative or even aggressive treatment options. However, not all opioids are the same and they are certainly not a good idea for someone who has substance abuse issues.”
He decries that there are no residencies offered in pain management and estimates that 90% of the “pain specialists” in America have no formal, accredited fellowship training in pain management.
We look forward to you comments, but before you comment we encourage to read the entire article by Dr. Joshi.
Here’s a link to his column.