PCOM Joins 60+ Medical Schools on Obama Opioid PledgeApril 6, 2016
Opioid prescription education and pain management have been part of PCOM's curriculum
At the recent National Rx Abuse and Heroin Summit in Atlanta, Georgia, the Obama administration
announced an agreement with 60 medical schools across the country to include instruction
on opioid prescription in their curricula, and PCOM and GA-PCOM were among those institutions.
H. William Craver III, DO ’87, dean and chief academic officer, GA-PCOM, attended the event as a special guest of the White House.
Beginning in fall 2016, these schools will require all students to take some form
of prescriber education in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. At PCOM and GA-PCOM, opioid
prescription education and pain management have been part of the medical school curriculum
for years, said Kenneth Veit, DO ’76, MBA, provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and dean.
“Our curriculum is imbued with courses on opioid education and pain management. It’s
important for our students to understand this growing public health issue so that
they can provide their patients with the best possible care,” said Dr. Veit.
Frederick Goldstein, PhD, professor, neuroscience, physiology and pharmacology, has been studying opioids
and other pain medications for more than 30 years. He is coordinator of pharmacology
for the DO program and lectures first-, second- and third-year medical students on
many areas of neuropharmacology, including opioids and pain management. In addition,
he coined the phrase “suicidogen,” a term he uses when teaching medical students about
pain management to describe any physical or mental factor—such as poor pain management—which
promotes the thought and/or act of suicide.
Dr. Goldstein says that PCOM’s curriculum is right on target with the CDC’s recommendations,
which include when to initiate or continue opioids for chronic pain; opioid selection,
dosage, duration, follow-up, and discontinuation; and risk and addressing harms of
“Opioids can be useful in pain management, but it is critical that medical students
receive the proper training and education surrounding these medications,” he said.
“If students are fearful of treating patients with opioids, they may not do it correctly.”
The American Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and the American Osteopathic
Association (AOA) partnered on the involvement of 27 colleges of osteopathic medicine
in the White House’s initiative to address the opioid epidemic. PCOM was the only
osteopathic institution—and one of only two medical schools—in Pennsylvania to participate
in the agreement.
“By teaching and reaffirming appropriate prescribing throughout the continuum of osteopathic
medical education, DOs are working to improve the quality of care now and for future
generations of physicians,” John W. Becher, DO ’70, chair, emergency medicine and president of the AOA, said in a statement.
About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
For the past 125 years, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained
thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral
scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just
symptoms. PCOM, a private, not-for-profit accredited institution of higher education,
operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy, and school psychology. The college also offers
graduate degrees in applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical
sciences, forensic medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling,
physician assistant studies, and school psychology. PCOM students learn the importance
of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its
community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations.
For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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