The PMD Critical List: Why Don't More Doctors Prescribe Anti-Addiction Drugs?

January 18, 2016
Greg Kelly

The nation’s opioid addiction epidemic has made countless headlines and become a talking point in political speeches. So why are doctors so reticent to prescribe anti-addiction drugs? That question tops this week’s PMD Critical List.

The nation’s opioid addiction epidemic has made countless headlines and become a talking point in political speeches. So why are doctors so reticent to prescribe anti-addiction drugs? That question tops this week’s PMD Critical List.

Few Doctors Prescribe Anti-Addiction Drugs (Pew Charitable Trusts)

Even as the nation continues in its deadly opioid addiction epidemic, too few doctors are able or willing to supply the medications proven to be effective against drug dependency. Over 900,000 US physicians can write painkiller prescriptions; less than 32,000 are authorized to prescribe buprenorphine.

Smaller Family Practices Continue to Thrive (AAFP.org)

Annals of Family Medicine research shows that small medical practices (two to five doctors) remain a staple of primary care even as large health centers seek market dominance by purchasing or employing them. Physicians in small and medium practices were found to offer the broadest scope of care.

Nursing Still the Most Trusted Profession (H&HN)

“Nurses are the ones you call if you need something.” For the 14th year in a row, the American public via the Gallup Poll has voted nurses as the most ethical and trusted profession in the country. Pharmacists and medical doctors rounded out the top three.

The “Sexiest Doctor Alive” (Daily Mail)

People magazine’s “Sexiest Doctor Alive” is Dr. Mikhail Varshavski (Dr. Mike). The second-year medical resident in New York reveals why people in his profession are attractive to singles. “The field of medicine is one you have to have a lot of dedication to enter. It shows you’re really committed, and that’s one of the most important factors women look for in a relationship.”

Why Doctors Must Market Themselves in 2016 (Forbes)

With advances in technology, consumers now have access to more information than they ever had before. This means that choosing a doctor is no longer a random or arbitrary choice. Here are three strategies for better marketing your practice.

For Depressed Physicians Silence Is the Enemy (The New York Times)

A powerful essay from the physician-director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research. “Many colleagues still recoil when I talk openly about therapy. But we can’t avoid talking about this. Too many are suffering. Suicide is always a tragedy; a physician’s suicide is a travesty.”

Doctors Need Answers for Patients' Cost Questions (NPR.org)

“Like many doctors, what little I know about medical pricing comes from a combination of what my patients tell me and what my family and I experience personally. There was no formal training in medical school about health care spending or the cost-effectiveness of various tests and treatments.”

Should Doctors Perform Virginity Tests? (Medical Daily)

A report about the practice of pelvic exams” that are still done in many parts of the world. According to US medical ethicists “doctors shouldn’t agree to these exams because they violate three core ethics of the profession—protecting patient welfare, respecting women’s autonomy, and promoting justice.”

Concierge Medicine Reaching New Markets (Kaiser Health News)

An update about the growing number of primary care doctors, spurred by Obamacare and frustrating insurance requirements, who are bringing a service that generally has been considered “health care for billionaires” to middle-income, Medicaid and Medicare populations.

10 Qualities of People with High Emotional Intelligence (Inc.)

Today’s physicians are struggling to find success in both their personal and professional lives. To be a more contented doctor one must develop and deploy their emotional intelligence”—“the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” Find these skills.