“Practicing Medicine in N.C. in the Midst of an Opioid Epidemic” to Include Discussion of N.C. Medical Board Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

The Methodist University Physician Assistant Program will host its first Opioid Conference on April 13, from 3-5 p.m. in the Medical Lecture Hall on the MU campus. This event is free and open to the public, though the discussion will be geared to health professions students, faculty, and practicing clinicians. There is no advance registration required.

Dr. Barbara Walker of the N.C. Medical Board will be the keynote speaker. She will talk about the issues and concerns surrounding practicing medicine while the state is suffering from an opioid epidemic.

“Castlight Health reported that four of the top 25 U.S. cities for opioid abuse are in North Carolina, with Wilmington as No. 1 and Fayetteville as 18th,” said event organizer Dr. Lisa Huggins Oxendine, associate professor of clinical medicine in the PA Program. “Their study also found that 32 percent of opioid prescriptions are abused. Thus, it’s imperative that healthcare professionals know and apply recommendations for opioid prescribing in North Carolina as a measure to reduce these statistics and hopefully to improve and lengthen lives.”

For more information on this event, contact Oxendine at loxendine@methodist.edu or 910.480.8525.

About the speaker

Dr. Walker completed her undergraduate studies at Santa Ana College in Santa Ana, Calif., and the University of California at Irvine. She earned her Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, Calif. She began active duty at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. She completed a residency in Family Practice at Womack Army Community Hospital at Fort Bragg and a fellowship in Academic Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Walker is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. She has practiced full-scope family medicine, including maternal-child care, since 1989. She currently is a contracted family physician with New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C. She spent more than 14 years teaching medical students and performing various administrative roles at the Family Medicine Residency Program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Walker had a distinguished military career spanning more than 20 years in the U.S. Army. She served active duty in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Saudi Arabia. She was attached to the 307th Medical Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. Dr. Walker retired from the U.S. Army in 2006 with the rank of Colonel.

Dr. Walker began her term on the North Carolina Medical Board on Nov. 1, 2013.