A new paper published yesterday found that physicians from the lowest-ranked US medical schools were nearly three times more likely to prescribe opioids than physicians from the top US medical schools. All of this led the authors to conclude, “Since variations in opioid prescribing have contributed to deaths due to the current opioid epidemic, training aimed at reducing prescribing rates among the most liberal prescribers—who disproportionately come from the lowest ranked medical schools—could possibly have large public health benefits.”
The study looked at international graduates too and found that the training tended to vary by region. To again quote the paper, “In fact, GPs trained in the Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico/Central America are the only foreign-trained GPs who on average write more opioid prescriptions per year than GPs trained at the top 30 US schools.”
Finally, if you’re like us and wondered if there was perhaps a correlation between the patients these various doctors saw and that, perhaps, graduates of lower-tier medical schools are more likely to have patients in need of opioids, the authors stated the statistical difference is maintained after accounting for specialty and location.