, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 126-128
Date: 17 Nov 2012

Interview with Dr. Kathy Foley

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Dr. Foley, one can say that you have singlehandedly overturned pain management or mismanagement and in doing so you have improved the quality of life of millions of people around the world. Still in 1973, patients who had a myocardial infarction received homeopathic doses of Demerol in a major hospital. What inspired you to enter this field and explore this largely unknown land?

When I finished my neurology residency in 1974, Dr. Jerome Posner, Chief of Neurology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center invited me to work on pain. I told him I did not know anything about the field. “Not to worry” he answered “nobody else does!” At that time at Memorial, a cancer rehabilitation program had received a grant to support a neurologist to study cancer-related pain. At Memorial, there were a renowned pharmacologist, Dr. Raymond Houde, who was the world’s expert in analgesic studies, and an amazing nurse, Ada Rogers, who had together pioneered pain assessment methods in cancer patients. With t ...