Expert Panel: 5 Ways to Improve Resident Substance Abuse Training
Although substance use disorders can be reliably detected and effectively managed by primary care physicians, evidence-based practices are underused, in part, due to lack of physician training.
To address this problem, the Betty Ford Institute sponsored a consensus conference of medical education and substance abuse experts to develop guidelines aimed at improving substance abuse training in residency programs.
The panel made the following 5 recommendations:
- Integrate substance abuse competencies into training.
- Assign substance abuse teaching the same priority as teaching about other chronic diseases.
- Enhance faculty development (i.e., require faculty expertise in substance use disorders and addiction medicine).
- Create addiction medicine divisions or programs in academic medical centers.
- Make substance abuse screening and management a part of routine care in new models of primary care practice.
Details of these recommendations as well as suggestions for implementation appeared in the Jan. 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.