Insufficient physician education in cancer pain management (CPM) is one of the major factors contributing to inadequate pain relief of cancer patients throughout the world. A survey of all physicians in direct patient care in Duluth, MN, (N = 243) was conducted to determine where they learned about CPM and how they would like to further their knowledge. Responses from 150 physicians (62%) have been analyzed, especially focusing on physician age and specialty. Statistically significant differences (p < 0.001) document that residency training programs have been including CPM in their curricula since 1978 and that medical schools have not. Additional significant sources of CPM have been consultations with expert physicians, conferences and the literature. When asked how they would like to learn more about CPM, 84% of all physicians indicated that local conferences would be most effective. Physicians in various specialties indicated their differing preferences, too. This study suggests that improvements in CPM can occur through these mechanisms.
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- Cancer pain
- chronic pain
- continuing medical education
- physician education