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Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Is There a Role for Physician Education?

Author

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  • Molly Schnell
  • Janet Currie

Abstract

Using national data on opioid prescriptions written by physicians from 2006 to 2014, we uncover a striking relationship between opioid prescribing and medical school rank. Even within the same specialty and practice location, physicians who completed their initial training at top medical schools write significantly fewer opioid prescriptions annually than physicians from lower ranked schools. Additional evidence suggests that some of this gradient represents a causal effect of education rather than patient selection across physicians or physician selection across medical schools. Altering physician education may therefore be a useful policy tool in fighting the current epidemic.

Suggested Citation

  • Molly Schnell & Janet Currie, 2017. "Addressing the Opioid Epidemic: Is There a Role for Physician Education?," NBER Working Papers 23645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23645
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dhaval M. Dave & Anca M. Grecu & Henry Saffer, 2017. "Mandatory Access Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and Prescription Drug Abuse," NBER Working Papers 23537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric R. Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1999. "Does It Pay to Attend an Elite Private College? Cross-Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Type on Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 104-123.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2018. "Deaths of Despair or Drug Problems?," NBER Working Papers 24188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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