Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.
Just as it is important to consider the whole patient, it is also important to consider the whole pain challenge. Although direct efforts in managing pain are helpful and go a long way in relieving suffering, part of a comprehensive plan must involve indirect care and oversight. Part of this involves politics.
In response to a reporter's comment to a physician running for office for the first time regarding the physician's lack of political experience, a congressman within earshot responded, "He works in the hospital, there's as much politics there as anything I see on the Hill!" In this chapter, the techniques for being more effective in promoting good pain management techniques outside the realm of direct patient care are covered. Many of the points are illustrated through examples of actual experiences because the relevant research is not abundant. This chapter is intended to help us be better advocates for pain management and to provide a basis for achieving that goal politically in every venue that might otherwise be an impediment. The politics of pain encompass far more than dealing with legislators. It also does not mean that a person has to run for Congress, although that is a good place to start.
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