It’s not uncommon for colleagues in the medical profession to disagree. Egos and different medical backgrounds can sometimes lead to heated discussions about the best way to treat patients. But those arguments are usually kept private. That is why it is so unusual for a prominent pain physician to publicly call for another doctor to resign or be fired from her faculty position at a prestigious medical school.
“I believe she should resign her academic post,” says Forest Tennant, MD, referring to Jane Ballantyne, MD, a professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, who recently co-authored a controversial article in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) that said reducing pain intensity should not be the goal of doctors who treat chronic pain patients. The article also suggests that patients should learn to accept their pain and move on with their lives.
“For somebody in her position as a professor at a university to call for physicians to quit treating pain – or pain intensity – whether acute, chronic, whether rich, poor, disabled or what have you, is totally inappropriate. And it’s an insult to the physicians of the world and an insult to patients. And frankly, she should not be a professor.” Tennant told Pain News Network.
“To suggest that physicians should no longer treat pain intensity and let patients suffer goes beyond any sort of decency or concern for humanity.”
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