Pain management and prescribing practices in otolaryngology residency programs

Jaclyn Klimczak, Arvind Badhey, Anni Wong, Patrick Colley, Marita Teng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To understand the knowledge, competency and influencing factors regarding postoperative opioid prescribing practices among Otolaryngology Residents. To understand the educational background and resources regarding pain management and opioid prescribing among Otolaryngology Residency Programs. Materials and methods: An anonymous electronic survey was distributed to Otolaryngology residents in the greater New York City area. Subjects reported their preferred pain management prescription for eight common otolaryngology surgeries. Questions addressed opioid and non-opioid prescribing influences, use/knowledge of pain management resources, and prior opioid prescribing education (OPE). An anonymous survey was distributed to US Otolaryngology Program Directors addressing resident prescribing influences and OPE in residency training programs. Results: Thirty-Five residents and fifteen PDs participated. Resident opioid prescribing was widely variable with averages ranging from 3.8 to 21.1 narcotic pills among eight standard otolaryngology surgeries. Attending/senior preference was believed to largely influence resident prescribing habits among residents (3.66, ±6.68), and PDs (4.73, ±0.46). Only 20% of programs had formal OPE in place, consistent with the 65.71% of residents who reported no prior OPE. Conclusions and relevance: A large inconsistency in Otolaryngology resident postoperative pain management exists, despite their responsibility to provide analgesic therapy. The lack of formal OPE programs in US Otolaryngology residency programs may lead to outside factors unrelated to surgery influencing these prescribing practices. This brings light to the need of Otolaryngology Resident OPE to assist in standardizing prescribing practices, provide meaningful patient education on opioid use and disposal and educate residents on the risk assessment tools offered to provide the most appropriate and safe analgesic therapy to patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102265
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Narcotics
  • Opioid
  • Opioid epidemic
  • Opioid pain education
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pain management
  • Residency training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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