Thursday, October 27, 2005

What pain can do

"Perhaps few persons who are not physicians can realize the influence which long-continued and unendurable pain may have on both body and mind," he wrote. "Under such torments the temper changes, the most amiable grow irritable, the bravest soldier becomes a coward, and the strongest man is scarcely less nervous than the most hysterical girl."
-Jerome Groopman quotes Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, the Philadelphia physician who first described Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in 1872. In the New Yorker.

2 Comments:

Blogger Suzi said...

I would think that those who have lived with long-term pain would be able to recognize what it can do as well as a physician.

6:43 AM  
Blogger shrinkette said...

Sadly, many doctors do not seem to understand. In Oregon, physicians are required by the state to have additional education about pain management, to keep our licensure. At least one MD in Oregon has been in trouble with the state licensing board, for not treating pain adequately. This is a huge issue in our state, where we also have legalized Physician Assisted Suicide. This has cast a huge spotlight on our deficiencies in treating pain, especially pain at the end of life.

8:45 AM  

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