May 5, 2016
Shocking many back in 2012, the FDA, along with the AMA, chose not to support mandatory training in pain management for all doctors. With the fast growing number of deaths related to inappropriate opioid use, controversy surrounding mandatory training within an already packed medical school curriculum was, as it is now, great. The recommendation had come from a panel of experts who proposed government regulations that would force medical schools to incorporate into their curricula CDC guidelines on how to treat pain. At present only one-quarter of medical schools that belong to the American Association of Medical Colleges have done so.
The concern among medical school leaders has been, and still is, that committing to one federal guideline could lead to a situation where lawmakers impose legislative agendas on physicians that are not necessarily in the interest of patient care. Physicians already feel constrained and pressured by government regulations and are wary about anything that tells them how to practice medicine. Now, in 2016, a spokesperson for the FDA has indicated that the organization has changed its position on the issue, stating that it does support mandatory training for physicians. A new FDA panel of outside experts is expected to make its final recommendation this week.