The Delicate Balance Between Treating Pain and Preventing Addiction

Association of American Medical Colleges (05/10/19) Kalter, Lindsay; Redford, Gabrielle

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine recently held a workshop to discuss the national opioid epidemic. Participants shared successful strategies and the challenges of educating current and future physicians on pain management and substance use disorders (SUDs). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Principal Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., noted that only 10 years ago, physicians were advised to prescribe opioids to manage what was deemed undertreatment of pain. "Many of us still do what we learned in medical school, but the world has changed a lot," she explained. "A lot of our problem is where we thought we were doing the right thing and we probably were not." Best practices shared by attendees included training physicians to prescribe buprenorphine or medication-assisted treatment. The AAMC will this year award up to five curricular challenge grants to schools and teaching hospitals to foster resources that boost faculty proficiency in pain management and SUD.

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