Family Medicine in the News

7/13/20
An article about the television show “Intervention” explains that pressuring an addict to agree to go to rehab may be more dangerous than leaving that person to fend for themselves. If a person is not fully motivated to recover, they are more likely to relapse, and the physical impact of using after detox is quite taxing on an addict’s already-fragile body. “When a relapse occurs, someone may take a dose that they think is going to be effective — and it may even be half of what they were taking before — but because they've lost their tolerance, those tend to be lethal,” says Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine.
3/23/20
MD Magazine carried a piece by Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor emeritus of family medicine, regarding steps that America can take to deal with the opioid epidemic through treatment and prevention.
3/14/20
Roseanne C. Berger, MD, senior associate dean for graduate medical education and associate professor of family medicine, is quoted as part of news coverage of COVID-19.  “We wish there would be a way to get rapid and quick testing, which is a concern that many of us have. We don't know what we don't know,” she said.
3/9/20
An article on the origins of today’s opioid epidemic featured commentary from Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor emeritus of family medicine. Blondell said that the federal agencies responsible for regulation were asleep at the wheel. “The expectation was that you’re going to get these drugs from a doctor, so drug companies were pushing it, doctors were writing (prescriptions), patients were demanding it, pharmaceutical companies were selling it, and it’s all financed by health insurance,” Blondell said.
1/8/20
Team Alice is a research and advocacy initiative based in the UB Center for Successful Aging that is focused on reducing the prescription of unnecessary and sometimes harmful medications to the elderly. The program is inspired by the story of Mary Brennan-Taylor, whose mother, Alice, was the victim of medical errors. Among the faculty members on Team Alice is Ranjit Singh, MB, Bchir, associate professor of family medicine and director of the department’s Primary Care Research Institute.
1/8/20
An article reports on a new collaborative training program between the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Cerner Corporation and Great Lakes Integrated Medical Record to provide first-year medical students with hands-on experience using an electronic medical recording system. The program aims the transaction of residents forwarding clinical notes to an attending physician, said Andrew B. Symons, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine and vice chair of medical student education in the department.
12/17/19
A story on a recent study that found that fewer Americans have a primary care doctor than in previous years quotes Ranjit Singh, MB BChir, associate professor of family medicine and director of the Primary Care Research Institute, who wasn’t involved in the study. He said the causes may include access issues, cultural attitudes, a trend toward retail medical clinics and what he called “Dr. Google.” “Do some people feel they can research their health problem and be their own primary care provider?" he said.
12/11/19
UB’s Center for Successful Aging has launched a new deprescribing effort to warn older adults about the dangers of taking too many medications and teach them to talk with their doctor about how to safely cut back. “We want to encourage patients and their family members to speak up to advocate for stopping medications,” said Ranjit Singh, MB BChir, associate professor of family medicine and director of the Primary Care Research Institute. “So when you go to the doctor, don’t go in asking for new medications. Start out by asking, ‘Are there any medications I don’t need anymore?’”
10/31/19
UB researchers are studying the effectiveness of the Opioid Intervention Court. The program has clearly had an impact, but policymakers and providers want evidence to show that the unique legal, social and psychological assistance the court provides contributes to positive results. “We will deepen our understanding about OIC and traditional drug-court participants over a 12-month period,” according to Linda S. Kahn, PhD, a principal investigator on the study and professor of family medicine and associate vice chair for research for the Primary Care Research Institute in the Department of Family Medicine.
6/14/19
Research by Jessica A. Kulak, PhD, a former postdoctoral fellow in UB’s Primary Care Research Institute, and Kim Strong Griswold, MD, professor of family medicine and psychiatry, suggests that shifts in illicit substance use among American youth will compel primary care physicians to monitor new products and how they are used. 
6/5/19
An article about how knowing what to expect after surgery can reduce patients’ need for opioids interviews Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chairman of addiction medicine, who said that overprescribing can increase the risk of opioid misuse and addiction by patients, and also increases the chance that unused pills will be diverted – misused by other family members or stolen and given to other people. “Surgeons have an important role in helping to keep prescription opioids from being diverted to the illicit marketplace,” he said. 
5/30/19
In an article about ongoing efforts to lessen health disparities between racial and ethnic groups in Western New York, Linda F. Pessar, MD, professor emerita of psychiatry at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and director of its Center for Medical Humanities, which seeks to increase the level of trust between physicians and patients who live in areas with poor health outcomes, is interviewed. “Our primary work is to make students aware of different communities and their experiences with physicians,” Pessar said. “We figure out ways to meet (the community’s) needs and reduce barriers to health care because among different ethnic groups there is a great deal of dissatisfaction and distrust.” The article also looks at the work of UB’s Community of Excellence in Global Health Equity and interviews Kim Strong Griswold, MD, professor of family medicine and research professor of psychiatry, who said the area “still has huge gaps” when it comes to making sure refugees have access to health care.
5/24/19
A story about travel and concerns about the measles interviews David M. Holmes, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine and director of global health education, who said all air travelers should make sure their family has been vaccinated for measles, flu and other serious viruses. “You can’t prevent everything, but you can do some things to minimize the risks,” he said.
3/20/19
Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair for addiction medicine, was interviewed on why rapidly taking patients off opioids might not be a good idea. The story discusses a letter, published by international experts in the journal Pain Medicine, that outlines risks associated with forcing patients off opioids too quickly, and calls on U.S. policymakers to develop realistic guidelines. Blondell, who was not among authors of the letter, said: “Whether it’s a fast taper or a slow taper, the big question is — well, what do you do after that?” said Blondell, who was not among authors of the letter. “What we really need is better science, not more politics. … In my experience, when you have global recommendations based on expert opinions and you try to apply those to individual patients at individual clinics, there’s a lot that gets lost in translation.”
2/1/19
An article about a new drug rehabilitation court opening in Syracuse interviews Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair for addiction medicine, who said: “The best way to deal with this opioid epidemic is prevention. In fact, we’ve never really dealt with epidemics very well at all, ever, through treatment.”