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Workshop will help primary care doctors deal with pain management cases

Primary care physicians treating patients who need comprehensive pain treatment plans – but don’t have a specialist to turn to – can learn about how to better handle the cases by attending a training program Saturday.

More than a dozen insurers and community organizations are sponsoring the training program for up to 200 primary care physicians and related personnel. The idea is to help front-line doctors gain the tools they need to treat patients in desperate straits.

Saturday’s four-hour training session at the University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy is expected to provide assistance to physicians who may soon see patients returning from Dr. Gosy’s practice and other area pain specialists who have closed their doors.

Dr. Paul Updike, director of chemical dependency at Catholic Health Systems, described the training session as a “down and dirty, quick education response” program.

Instead of a purely academic lecture-style workshop, Saturday’s workshop will teach through case studies and hypothetical situations that many physicians may find themselves in, Updike said. He and Dr. Doug Gourlay, a Toronto-based educational consultant for pain and chemical dependency, will walk physicians through hypothetical cases and help doctors troubleshoot each of them.

The training will also help doctors learn how to address difficult matters with patients, especially if patients demand a treatment program their doctor doesn’t recommend.

Public and private organizations – many of which are also members of the Erie County Opioid Epidemic Task Force – organized and paid for the workshop.

Updike said the program will also pair interested physicians with local pain specialists who can serve and mentors and advisors.

Physicians who participate in the program will receive continuing medical education credits. Organizers said they hope for a good turnout. Up to 200 can be accommodated.

Organizers ask for advance registration but will accept walk ins.


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