Family Medicine in the News

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.”
1/2/19
Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine, is interviewed about a letter in the journal Pain Medicine that urges U.S. policymakers to develop guidelines for tapering patients off opioids that are not “aggressive and unrealistic”. "Whether it's a fast taper or a slow taper, the big question is -- well, what do you do after that?" he said. "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."
12/12/18
An article in reports the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will use a $600,000 grant from the New York State Department of Health to support the expansion of primary care residency and medical student training in ambulatory settings throughout Western New York. Interviewed is Andrew B. Symons, MD, clinical associate professor of family medicine and vice chair for medical student education in the Department of Family Medicine. “All of the focus is really concentrating on promoting primary care in underserved areas,” Symons said.
11/19/18
Everyday Health quotes Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine, about a recent decline in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the United States. “It’s a little light at the end of the tunnel. We know that fewer people are dying of drug overdoses but what we don’t know is why,” said Blondell, an opioid addiction expert.
10/5/18
Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine, was interviewed about legalizing marijuana and what it could mean for employers and drug testing. Blondell said that just because marijuana may become legal in New York State doesn’t mean that people won’t face repercussions in the workplace for using it. "We're now in new territory, we haven't thought through what we are going to do so employers are going to have to make up policies as they go along," he said. "So it's still illegal federally and it's not legal in every state. So let's just say you're an employer and you run a trucking business, and your trucks now go across state lines. what kind of policies are you going to have for your drivers."
10/1/18
A special issue of Buffalo Magazine focusing on the opioid epidemic includes interviews with local experts about the future of the crisis, among them, Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine, who said the most critical issue in the local opioid crisis is the over-prescription of opioid medications. “Physicians and other clinicians now prescribe three to four times more opioids than they did 20 years ago. There is a direct correlation between the level of prescriptions with the number of opioid overdose deaths and with admissions to drug addiction treatment programs,” he said. An additional article about the locations of medication drop boxes in Erie County includes Bissell Hall on the UB North Campus.
9/27/18
An article about the financial toll of the U.S. opioid epidemic, which has cost the country more than $1 trillion since 2001, interviews Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine. “Prescription drugs are gateway drugs to heroin,” he said. “Doctors and other physicians inadvertently prescribe their patients into addiction, but when they stop the prescriptions, patients turn to the illicit market for their drugs. As such, these prescribers make things worse by converting a licit drug problem into an illicit problem.”
8/7/18
An article about the singer Demi Lovato, who was hospitalized recently for an apparent drug overdose, and the enduring struggle of addiction and relapse, interviews Richard D. Blondell, MD, professor of family medicine and vice chair of addiction medicine, who said a number of risk factors make relapses perilous, but the major culprit is often losing tolerance. “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,” he said.
7/16/18
A story reports UB has received a $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to help doctors translate proven medical research into patient care, and interviews Ranjit Singh, MB BChir, MBA, associate professor of family medicine. “Clinical trials demonstrate that the drug works,” he said. “Our job once they have discovered that it can work under ideal conditions with specific types of patients, is to figure out how to get practicing physicians out in the real world to use this drug to help their patients.”
5/25/18
A new UB study has shown that an at-home cognitive therapy that requires little contact with a medical specialist appears to relieve the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome as well or better than traditional therapy. “Our research shows that patients can learn ways to recalibrate these brain-gut interactions in a way that brings them significant symptom improvement that has eluded them through medical treatments,” said Jeffrey M. Lackner, PsyD, professor of medicine in the Division of Behavioral Medicine and director of the Behavioral Medicine Clinic.