Monday, October 27, 2008

Improved Medical Education on Addiction

Researchers have found that education on addiction is inadequate during medical training, resulting in suboptimal medical care for those at risk.

However, the research also found a program offered by Boston Medical Center is an effective “train the trainers” model for dissemination of addiction knowledge and skills to generalist physician trainees.

The Chief Resident Immersion Training (CRIT) program in addiction medicine provides incoming generalist chief residents from internal medicine, family medicine and emergency medicine with the scientific foundation of addiction medicine.

The training includes state-of-the-art diagnosis and management skills on addiction medicine, and also facilitates the integration of addiction medicine content into residency program curricula and chief resident teaching.

A total of 86 incoming chief residents applied to the annual CRIT program over a three year period, with 64 participating in the CRIT intervention group and 22 attended the control group.

Each member of the program received a questionnaire at baseline and again at six months after the program to assess changes in addiction medicine knowledge, skills, clinical practice and teaching.

Members of the intervention group were required to develop a substance use teaching project to be implemented during their chief residency and received addiction medicine resources and teaching tools, including slide presentations, case studies, instructions and role descriptions for skill practice exercises, the latest medical literature and important addiction websites to use as a resource.

At the six month follow-up, the intervention group reported a significant increase in addiction medicine knowledge, confidence and preparedness to diagnose, manage and teach and an increase in clinical and teaching practices compared to their baseline and to the control group. At baseline, both groups reported high levels of feeling responsible for teaching about addiction.

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