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Pain expert to address gap in pain treatment among racial and ethnic minorities

University of Michigan's Carmen R. Green, M.D., to speak at American Pain Society annual meeting April 2

ANN ARBOR, MI - For people suffering from pain, race matters. Racial and ethnic minorities are not treated for conditions such as arthritis and backache in the same way as Caucasians, says a pain specialist from the University of Michigan Health System.

Carmen R. Green, M.D., will address the issue of disparities in pain treatment during a speech at the American Pain Society's 24 th annual scientific meeting in Boston. Her plenary session talk – "Unequal Burdens, Unheard Voices: Disparities in Health Due to Pain" – is from 1:30-2 p.m. April 2 at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center.

"Chronic pain disproportionately affects racial and ethnic minorities. Doctors don't treat and measure pain for minorities the same way they do for Caucasians," says Green. "Under-treatment of pain is a human rights issue, a public health issue, and potentially a civil rights issue."

Green has studied the pain experience and treatment of patients, and she found in a recent study that African Americans may be disproportionately missing out on effective treatment for their chronic pain. She also has found that prescription pain medications are harder to find in pharmacies serving minority neighborhoods.

Green is an anesthesiologist and associate professor in the U-M Health System's Department of Anesthesiology and pain specialist at U-M's Center for Interventional Pain Medicine.

For more than a small excerpt go to: www.med.umich.edu/opm/newspage/2005/green.htm

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