Family Medicine in the News

12/1/17
Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine, and vice chair of addiction medicine, was interviewed for a story about the opioid crisis and a new indictment against a local pain management physician. He said overprescribing medications is partly to blame for the opioid epidemic. “The promotion of drugs to physicians by pharmaceutical companies or the representatives that encourage physicians to overprescribe is what got us into this mess,” Blondell said.
11/7/17
Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine, commented on President Trump’s declaration that the opioid crisis is a public health emergency. He noted Trump said a lot of the right things in his speech although it was light on specifics. “The proof will be in the pudding,” he said. “It’s like a bunch of kids drowning in a river — we need to go upstream and find out why they’re drowning in the first place. We need to do something so that doctors stop prescribing people into addiction.”
10/23/17
The global Physicians for Human Rights organization trains health care providers in physical, gynecological and psychological forensic evaluation for asylum seekers. Kim Griswold, MD, associate professor of family medicine, says Buffalo is a popular location for asylum seekers for several reasons. “One is that we have the largest shelter in the United States for asylum seekers, Vive La Casa. Also we have a lot of local resources, like the Center for Survivors, that are able to identify folks seeking asylum.”
8/11/17
An article on the opioid epidemic in Western New York interviews Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine, who said that when Prescription Monitoring Programs started to take effect, a vast population of addicts began turning to heroin. “When doctors stopped prescribing licit drugs to these patients, they turned to the illicit market where diverted prescription drugs and highly potent illegal drugs were becoming more available at lower costs,” he said.
7/20/17
Buffalo is home to the nation’s first opioid crisis intervention court, which can get users into treatment within hours of their arrest instead of days. The program is funded by a three-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department, which pays for a coordinator and case managers from UB Family Medicine, who enforce curfews, do wellness checks and transport patients.
7/7/17
Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine, and Torin J. Finver, MD, clinical instructor of family medicine and program director for the addiction medicine fellowship, were interviewed about a proposal that would send those going through opiate withdrawal home to detoxify. “It is an interesting concept that should be funded. However, it would be important to also collect data to evaluate its effectiveness in the real world,” Blondell said.  
6/7/17
Getting a handle on the opioid epidemic can be accomplished, but it will take time and it won't be easy, according to Richard Blondell, MD, a professor in the Department of Family Medicine. Blondell spoke on the topic at Genesee Community College in Batavia as part of an opioids and addiction seminar, hosted by the Genesee Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.
6/7/17
Match Day, when medical students find out where they will do their clinical training, was an anxious one for international medical students headed to Buffalo due to the president's travel ban. Roseanne C. Berger, MD, senior associate dean for graduate medical education, and Christopher P. Schaeffer, MD, assistant professor of medicine, were both featured in the piece.
5/30/17
New medication-assisted treatment programs are opening up across Central New York to keep up with the opioid epidemic. “There’s a basic need for education support that draws people together and how that occurs might vary from one city to or another,” said Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair for addiction medicine.
5/15/17
Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine was asked about the story of an Ohio police officer who overdosed and needed to be treated with Narcan after touching some fentanyl with his bare hand. Blondell said it’s not possible to overdose on fentanyl simply by touching it, although it’s theoretically possible that someone could overdose by touching carfentanyl, a much more potent version of the drug.  
5/12/17
Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine has strong opinions about the opioid epidemic. “The bulk of addiction is now created by the health care system,” he said. “This is an artificial epidemic. It’s the unintended consequences of aggressive pain management.”
5/5/17
David M. Holmes, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine, along with medical students and residents, traveled to Panama to provide medical care to people living in remote villages. “The village is so remote, that we had to unload the vans, and then carry the medical equipment into the village,” he said.
4/27/17
Andrew B. Symons, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine, was one of the speakers at an event announcing that $16 million in state funding has been earmarked for Western New York to fight the heroin and opioid crisis.
4/21/17
David M. Holmes, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine and director of global health education, recently led a group of UB medical students and residents on a medical mission to Panama. The team worked with Floating Doctors, an organization that travels by boat to remote villages to provide medical care.
3/26/17
A report on the work of the Western New York Center for Survivors of Refugee Trauma and Torture, the only program of its kind outside of New York City, quotes Kim Griswold, MD, MPH, the center’s medical director and an associate professor of family medicine and psychiatry.