It's Time for Pain Patients to Speak Up – Congress Is Listening
We frequently complain about the inadequacy of pain care in the U.S. – like not being able to find a good doctor who is willing to help us, or being made to feel like drug abusers simply because we're seeking some relief from constant pain.
Unfortunately, most of the time our complaints are not heard by the people who have the power to change things... until now.
The U.S. Congress has asked the Institute of Medicine to convene a committee to review pain research, care, and education, and to explore new ways to improve the treatment of pain. The Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education will:
- Describe pain as a public health issue.
- Identify barriers to good pain care.
- Identify specific groups that may be undertreated for pain.
- Identify tools and strategies to improve the training of pain researchers.
- Discuss opportunities for public-private partnerships in pain research, care, and education.
In order to help the committee gather information, individuals living with pain and their families, caregivers, health care professionals, and others interested in these issues have been invited to share their thoughts and concerns about pain care, including:
- Barriers to and opportunities for improving pain care.
- Groups that may be inadequately treated for pain.
- Patient experiences in seeking treatment.
- Provider experiences providing pain care.
I hope each of you will take advantage of this opportunity to make your voice heard. And share this opportunity with anyone else you know who might be interested. Together maybe we can make a difference.
The IOM has prepared an electronic form where you can share your thoughts: Pain Research – Public Comment Form
Please do it now so you don't forget!
Note: A big thank you to Teri Robert, Lead Expert on HealthCentral's MyMigraineConnection.com for bringing this to my attention!