There is no need to suffer: Why hospitals should engage physicians in a dedicated chronic pain program

Chances are, you know someone in your life who suffers from chronic pain. Workplace injuries, aging, car accidents, disease, and many other common events can trigger a lifetime of pain for those afflicted. However, the sheer scale of the problem is staggering.

The article originally appeared on Surgical Directions' website

According to the Institute of Medicine[1], over 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, costing sufferers and taxpayers over $600 billion per year. Yet, chronic pain is often treated incorrectly and many hospitals simply do not provide pain programs or specialists to assist patients.

One factor contributing to the problem stems from concerns over the opioid epidemic. The epidemic is making it more difficult for patients with chronic pain to find multidisciplinary pain treatment.  Primary care physicians are fearful of prescribing medications for pain treatment.  The untreated patients are flooding your EDs and hospital beds. However, help is available from a growing cadre of physician partners specializing in pain management.

Over the past 30 years chronic interventional pain management has developed into a distinct specialty with post residency ACGME fellowship education and specialty board certification.  Physicians feed into Chronic Pain Fellowships from a variety of residency programs including anesthesiology, neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, internal medicine, and others.  Current certification is through the American Board of Anesthesiology.  All physicians that complete an ACGME fellowship are eligible to sit for the Board exam no matter their residency specialty. Click here to continue>>

 

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