June 2015
David Craig, PharmD | Editor


Pain Education in Medical Schools of Utmost Ethical Importance: Results from the Ethics SIG Survey

The APS Ethics Shared Interest Group (SIG) has focused on determining membership priorities for national issues of ethics in the field of pain. Accordingly, a single-item e-mail survey was sent out several weeks ago to APS members asking for an anonymous response to the following statement: "Please indicate the national ethics topics you believe warrant concerted and targeted focus." Answers were submitted via check boxes that allowed multiple responses as well as a free-text comment box. The e-mail was sent to 1,794 members with 294 members responding to the survey (12% response rate).

The two areas of ethical importance most frequently endorsed by respondents were "pain education in medical schools" (51%) and "patient barriers to high quality pain care" (49%). Other areas of ethical importance included "severely limited pain research funding" (43%), "disparities in pain treatment and research" (40%), and "overmedicalization of patients" (40%).
These results underscore the ethical imperative associated with several national problems identified in the Institute of Medicine Report (2011) and the National Pain Strategy (2015).

The Ethics SIG is Cochaired by Sara Davin, PsyD, and Katie Hadlandsmyth, PhD (former Chair Beth Darnall, PhD).