Them’s fight’n words: Opioid abuse is now the largest iatrogenic epidemic in American history. Danesh Mazloomdoost MD, our featured LMS physician in this Spring Edition of KentuckyDoc magazine, has correctly guided us to a severe problem linked to the care of our patients with chronic pain. His article entices us with a panoply of evidence-based
management techniques available now for chronic pain and he gives the promise of future
scientific breakthroughs for non-opioid pain control. Moreover, we are shown the skill set of a highly trained
board certified pain physician.
Dr. Slabaugh, our current LMS president, provides a lucid introduction to the available techniques for acute
pain control following endoscopic abdominal and urologic procedures. His article demonstrates options that
may limit the need for prolonged opioid use while reducing the patient’s time in hospital. Brent Morris, MD,
an orthopedic surgeon and expert in shoulder-elbow surgical treatment, guides us in the opioid management
challenges in treating musculoskeletal conditions.
Back to the opioid abuse problem. Dr. Granacher summarizes last month’s publication of the new CDC
guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. He also outlines the FDA’s: A Proactive Response to
Prescription Opioid Abuse. Part of FDA policy change due to opioid abuse is to address immediately the lack of
non-opioid alternatives for chronic pain control. Leaving governmental policy issues aside, Tuyen Tran, MD
asks us to look at “the elephant in the room.” Dr.Tran, an internist and addiction medicine specialist, contrasts
the opioid abuse crisis with the myths against using medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction (MAT).
In his customary fashion, John Patterson MD profiles the compassionate cancer care provide by local
oncologist Russell Eldridge MD. John then introduces us to the strategies for ensuring physician well-being as
practiced by Lexington Clinic CMO Robert Bratton MD. Last, but not least, among our physician writers is
the poignant essay by Charles Ison, MD, “Dying as Desired.”
Please read our Lifestyle Section article on traveling in Tokyo and our Business Section article by Jim Ray
on how to grow your medical practice by branding yourself. Enjoy this issue and remember to care for yourself
so you can care for your patients.
Robert P. Granacher Jr., MD, MBA, Editor-in-Chief, Kentucky Doc Magazine