Dear Dr. Kennedy,
You have nicely pointed out the bigger problem. Chronic pain is a different animal and you have my sympathy and understanding. I also applaud your judgement, as we’ve had a couple of our surgeons try,and ultimately fail to continue their surgical careers following extensive back surgeries such as yours. They both found that their work was substantially more difficult to perform and frankly, both admitted to great concern regarding their surgical outcomes. I don’t recall any untoward incidences, but would certainly trust their self-analysis when it comes to the decision to not continue.
The question of chronic pain management is replete with stories of abuse and the illegal trafficking of prescription drugs. In the end, leading to more oversight by the DEA, was predictable and necessary. Watching the devastation that these drugs have caused when over-presribed or taken recreationally, one cannot help but to ponder whether there isn’t a better way. Lives lost in overdoses and to prisons seemingly requires some action by the medical community. Pain panels, perhaps staffed by those such as yourself could add oversight while simultaneously limiting the treating physician’s singular judgement. A judgement that may be derived as much from fear of taylor armstrong lawsuit as it is from the objective analysis of the patient’s pain. Either way, the illicit trade of prescription drugs needs to be addressed.
Thank you for all of your inspiring comments up and down this comments page,
Rick Schaler MD FACS