Chronic Pain Is A Problem Few Doctors Can Address, Enid Burns, RedOrbit, August 13, 2013
Most doctors are trained and well-equipped to treat acute pain, or pain that results from an injury and will subside with treatment, but few doctors are trained to address chronic pain. A new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit finds that of the 117 US and Canadian medical schools, only four US medical schools put a required course for pain management on the schedule for medical students.
Chronic pain is a growing issue with more and more patients suffering from regular pain. The hospital estimates that 100 million people in the US live with chronic pain. It accounts for roughly a $635 billion annual split between health care costs and loss of productivity. The growing number of patients with chronic pain outnumbers medical specialists by a wide margin. The report says that a 2011 study found that for every medical specialist, there were 28,500 patients.
Many of those patients go to their general care physicians, and not specialists, to help with pain management.
“It’s a major health care problem,” said Raymond Hobbs, M.D., a Henry Ford Internal Medicine physician, and senior author of the clinical review published in the Journal of American Osteopathic Association. “We have physicians who have been well trained and have been practicing medicine a long time, but didn’t receive training in pain management.”
You can read the full article at RedOrbit.