Physicians: The Modern Day Drug Dealers

26,000 physicians across the United States fuel the country’s opioid crisis

Mikael Haji
2 min readJan 10, 2022

Author: Zayn Patel, Mikael Haji, Anush Mutyala

Project Memo:

Summary of Project Memo:

The opioid crisis in the US is projected to cause 700,000 deaths by 2025, largely due to the overprescribing of painkillers. One of the reasons for this is the subjective nature of current pain assessments, which rely on patients to rate their pain on a numerical scale and describe how it feels in words. However, these methods do not work for most patients and do not yield any objective meaning. Moreover, patients can be confused about how to describe their pain in a single number.

Poor pain assessment is identified as the greatest barrier to successful pain management, and experts believe that the opioid crisis stems from it. Surgeons’ prescribing habits also play a significant role, as they often prescribe more opioids than needed after surgery. FMRI scans are one of the few ways to proxy pain, but they are limited in terms of what they can tell us. Catch My Pain and the military are working on new pain rating scales, but they only represent minor improvements on existing methods.

Proposed is an objective pain quantification tool fUS neuroimaging is one technology that could provide it. By disrupting pain scales and improving pain assessment, we can prevent the spread of the opioid crisis and help patients manage pain more effectively.

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