Pubdate: Fri, 06 Jan 2017
Source: Philadelphia Daily News (PA)
Copyright: 2017 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.


Charles Cutler is an internal medicine specialist from Norristown.

Want to know what's important in medicine today?

Ask Charles Cutler, an internal medicine specialist from Norristown who
last month was sworn in as the 167th president of the Pennsylvania Medical

The society's 16,000 members are physicians and medical students
throughout the state. Among the issues it promotes are leadership,
education, and public health.

Cutler, a member for 35 years, belongs to numerous other medical
organizations, including the Board of Trustees of the Montgomery County
Medical Society. He is a member of Einstein Physicians Norriton, a part of
the Einstein Healthcare Network.

He spoke to us recently about where medicine is - or should be - headed.

What is one of the primary issues in health care today?

I would be negligent if I didn't lead off talking about the opioid crisis.
To capsulize it, in some jurisdictions, there are more people dying of
opioid overdoses or abuse than in automobile accidents. And look at all
we've done for automobile safety with seat belts and air bags and cameras.
The list goes on. In a different vein, but with the same intention, we
have to do that for this crisis. Addiction is an illness. People didn't
wake up in the morning to say, "Gee, how can I be sick today?" There are
social and psychological and emotional issues that surround this.

This is a major issue for the medical society, and we're encouraged that
it's being recognized by the Pennsylvania legislature, the governor's
office, a lot of stakeholders around the state, and, for that matter,
around the country.

The society has worked with others and created guidelines for prescribing
opioids. There are some patients that legitimately need narcotics, and
they should be able to get the products that they need to feel better and
to get better. We've also created information for patients that can be
distributed through physician offices, hospitals, and other venues.

[non drug-policy relevant sections, skipped ]
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