| Next Generation

Alexis LaPietra, DO

I would love to empower my generation to innovate and step up to lead our world into better, safer days.

GPS Paterson, NJ

Typical Day Up at 6: gym, shower, get the kids to school, at work by 9. Then meetings, lectures, consults, emails, reviewing charts, conducting research, assisting residents/students/nurses, etc.

Persona I would love to empower my generation to innovate and step up to lead our world into better, safer days. I hope my voice and my opinions about safe and effective pain management at least motivate others to lead, if not inspire movement into a day when we no longer are wading through the harms associated with prescription opioids.

Social Media Habits am not very social media savvy. I never mastered Twitter or Instagram and although that may limit me in some ways, I find it frees me for more human interactions. I am on Facebook and Linked In enough to keep me somewhat in the loop.

Contribution My most meaningful contribution is the recognition of nonopioid medications and interventions as a treatment pathway for acute and chronic pain as opposed to a strict reliance on opioids. This was mostly accomplished through the ALTO (alternatives to opioids) program launched at St. Joseph’s Health in 2016 after I finished my EM residency and Pain Management Fellowship. The concept made it into a House of Representatives bill that was part of a package signed into law by President Trump October 2016. It will provide funding for EDs to develop and implement evidence-based opioid sparing algorithms into day-to-day practice to reduce unnecessary exposure to opioids. ALTO makes practitioners take a second and think about what nonopioid options are possible as a first line treatment. (PS: there are a lot!)

People I admire Ellen DeGeneres. She broke down barriers. Although most representative of the diversity in sexual orientation, Ellen has led the conversation on what is means to be different in general—whether through culture, language, or religion. Deep down on an anatomical level we are a bunch of proteins and cells and ultimately ALL THE SAME.

Words The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Dreamland, a chronicle of the Rx opioid/heroin epidemic in the US from the 1950s through today. The Things They Carried, about the men who risked or gave their lives in the Vietnam War. It ignited a desire to advocate for improved mental health and transition programs for soldiers coming home from war. We must love and care for our veterans. They gave a significant amount for our freedom—we must give them WHATEVER they need in return to reintegrate and function post-war.

Popcorn Jurassic Park was the most amazing movie I had ever seen when I was 10 years old. It stuck with me because it was so groundbreaking. It’s still one of my favorites. I like Bye Bye Birdie also. It’s pretty old but the singing & dancing is amazing.

PAINWeek PAINWeek brings together so many different practitioners. Pain is a complex biopsychosocial experience and it should be treated that way. In order to understand and move pain management forward we need to break down silos and get together every type of practitioner to talk about the challenges and innovations related to treating pain. PAINWeek is a time to meet new folks, learn about innovations, and gain better understanding into this very complex process through different eyes than our own medical specialty.