And doctors may make assumptions about minority groups and the likelihood that they'll abuse drugs, he said. "These things probably feed one another," Fisher said.
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), however, said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon that a study presented at the group's recent annual meeting found that most patients who come to the ER with pain are satisfied with the care they receive.
"Our research showed that people with chronic pain who come to the emergency department seeking relief generally get that relief and fairly quickly," study author Dr. Knox Todd, director of the Pain and Emergency Medicine Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, said in a statement.
"The good new is that all physicians, including emergency physicians, are continuing to improve their pain management practices," Todd said. "The less-good news is that many physicians continue to under-treat pain in their patients."
Learn more about opioids as treatment for chronic pain from the American Pain Society.
SOURCES: Mark Pletcher, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor, epidemiology and biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco; Thomas Fisher Jr., M.D., MPH, assistant professor of emergency medicine, University of Chicago; Jan. 2, 2008, statement, American College of Emergency Physicians; Jan. 2, 2008, Journal of the American Medical Association
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