Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: pain

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 06 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:b5683
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner
  1. 1Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

    I knew the course of the lingual nerve but not the basics of pain management. I am still haunted by the yells of patients in pain in wards through the night. Pain management was barely taught, and doctors were fearful of powerful opioids. Rightly we have striven to improve training in pain management, especially in palliative care and after operations. The establishment of hospital pain clinics has played a key role, and patients have an absolute right to be free of pain. Opioids, however, are now prescribed widely …

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