Psychiatry residents not getting training in treating chronic pain



Up to 21% of psychiatry residency programs provide no training or supervision for managing and treating chronic pain, and pain-related training and supervision by remaining programs is minimal, a new national survey shows.

Given the unique role of psychiatrists in helping chronic pain patients with coping strategies and managing comorbid psychiatric illness, this void is concerning, said Ali Ahsan Ali, MD, a resident psychiatrist at the Micah School of Medicine at Mount Sinai/Elmhurst Hospital Center in New York, in an interview at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association.

In a video interview, Dr. Ali spoke with Ahmar M. Butt, MD, about how and why Dr. Ali and his colleagues conducted the survey of all 221 U.S. psychiatry residency programs in January 2019. They also discuss the implications of these trends for patients, particularly in light of the country’s opioid crisis.

Dr. Ali had no disclosures. Dr. Butt is board certified in general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and preventive medicine, with a subspecialty in addiction medicine. Dr. Butt is interim program director of the psychiatry residency program at Broadlawns UnityPointe Health, Des Moines, Iowa. He had no disclosures.

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