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September 13, 2010

Long-term Opioid Treatment of Nonmalignant PainA Believer Loses His Faith

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: San Francisco Department Public Health, San Francisco, California.

Arch Intern Med. 2010;170(16):1422-1424. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2010.335

As a patient-centered internist, I have never wanted a patient of mine to suffer needless pain. During my residency in the 1980s, I was influenced by studies showing that physicians undertreated pain, and I vowed that I would not practice in that way. Although many physicians I knew refused to enroll with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency for the right to prescribe controlled substances because they wanted an easy excuse to say they could not write prescriptions for opioids, I got my “triplicate pad” as soon as I finished internship and had my license.

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