Friday, July 15, 2011

Refill on the Vics

So two weeks into a non-academic community setting, I've learned what the real world is like. I'm not so surprised by fact that there are a lot of patients who are addicted to narcotics. I'm more surprised by how there are so many doctors that are feeding their addiction. It's so easy for a patient to find a doctor that will prescribe them some heavy-duty narcotics without too many questions that things that I learned in med school like counseling, pain contracts and limiting refills just plain doesn't work. If legitimate doctors to try to manage their patients' chronic pain without overly relying on narcotics they risk losing the patient and likely the patient's other chronic medical conditions won't be taken care of. Or, they can just write the refill to bring them back and make sure that they have their diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, asthma, etc. under control. It's a hard decision to make, but many of the patients in this area just won't see a doctor unless they need their pain meds refilled.

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