Future doctors get prescription for fighting opioid epidemic

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A new prescription to treat the opioid epidemic.

This week medical students at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk heard firsthand about the severity of the addiction disease, and learned how they will play an important role in helping to save lives in the future.

Speakers from the Betty Ford Center showed how important it is to ask the right questions and see past the secrets and shame to help not only the victims but their families.

“I really firmly think that we are crafting the future of medicine, I believe that with all my heart here.” said Joseph Skrajewski, Executive Director of Medical and Professional Education at the Hazeldon Betty Ford Center.

Their goal is to open the eyes of 150 medical students to the enormity of the issue.

“I’m going to many more funerals and memorial services with little kids whose parents overdose,” said their National Director of Children’s Programs, Jerry Moe.

He said its important for future doctors to understand alternatives to treating pain without prescriptions and the value in asking just the right questions.

“It’s building that trust and rapport that often allows people to go to their doctor and to say ‘hey this is a problem in my family.’ “

Dr. Cynthia Romero, Director of the M. Foscue Brock Institute for Community and Global Health at EVMS hopes to make this an ongoing event to reach all future doctors in the school.

“We hope that we are going to help change that trajectory of more people being addicted and more people dying of heroin. We’re hoping to at least level it off and start to see it decline.”

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