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

Listed author(s):
  • Molly Schnell
  • Janet Currie

Using data on all 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 county of practice, 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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w23645.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23645.

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Date of creation: Aug 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23645
Note: HC HE
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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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