Ted Parran Jr. seated in the atrium of the Health Education Campus
Credit: Michael F. McElroy

What the doctor ordered

Ted Parran is re-educating physicians who may have helped fuel the opioid epidemic

For as long as the opioid crisis has dominated headlines, the question of who’s to blame has festered. Ted Parran Jr., the Isabel and Carter Wang Professor and chair in medical education at Case Western Reserve’s School of Medicine, believes physicians who prescribe in excess are among those responsible.

Since 1994, he has spearheaded a three-day course on prescribing opioids that’s been attended by 3,500 prescribers from across North America—80% of whom have overprescribed and been sanctioned by state or provincial medical boards. He also teaches a version of the class to fourth-year medical students at the university. Recently interviewed for an article about the opioid crisis that appeared earlier this month in The New Yorker, Parran discussed his push to educate, and re-educate, white coats, present and future. Last fall, he talked about the fourth-year medical students he teaches and the three-day course he designed on prescribing opioids that is offered to physicians across North America.

Read the article in Think magazine.