From the articles by Mary Murphy Swertlow and Kathleen Doheny, it is apparent (although the point is not emphasized) that chronic pain is all too often mismanaged or ignored. Reputable pain specialists, many working in multidisciplinary teams at pain clinics, do a good job. Unfortunately, few pain sufferers find their way to such experts; most are seen by health professionals who simply are not sufficiently trained in diagnosing or treating pain. The problem goes beyond chronic pain. Studies show that acute pain from surgery or trauma and pain accompanying cancer are also insufficiently treated. Recently, the International Pain Foundation (909 N.E. 43rd St., Suite 306, Seattle, Wash. 98105) was formed to promote public and professional education about pain management.
John C. Liebeskind
President, International Pain