The rate of overdose related to prescription painkillers and other opioids within the U.S. has increased. 91 Americans die each day from opioid overdose (including prescription opioids and heroin), according tofrom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Communities, both urban and rural, are facing an opioid epidemic.
In response to the crisis in their communities and nationwide, AAMC member institutions are actively working to advance medical research, education, and clinical care that addresses the opioid epidemic. Medical educators are enhancing existing coursework in pain management and substance use disorders (SUDs) in innovative ways. While students are, to be maximally effective, such experiences are also being reinforced throughout the continuum of medical education, including in residency training, clinical experiences, and continuing education for practicing physicians. AAMC member institutions are also promoting innovations in patient care, conducting cutting-edge research into substance use disorders and pain management, and providing community education programs and events.
Convening Educators, Highlighting Innovative Practices, and Assisting in Meeting Needs
The AAMC is actively working to support the work of its member institutions by sharing successful practices, approaches, and responses among educators, clinicians, and future physicians. As part of this effort, and in response to ongoing assessments of the needs of the academic medicine community, the AAMC has developed athat will occur over the next three years to further enhance collaboration and sharing of educational responses.
- AAMC National Workshop to Advance Medical Education to Combat Opioid Misuse: Working Together Across the Continuum
The AAMC hosted a – in collaboration with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), and the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM), and supported, in part, by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – to bring together teams of representatives from medical schools and teaching hospitals, as well as individuals from other stakeholder organizations, to advance educational content related to pain and addiction within undergraduate, graduate, and continuing medical education. Participants will continue to integrate their learnings into their work at their institutions over the next year or more.
- Curricular Innovation Awards
In October 2018, the AAMC four Curricular Innovation Awards, also funded, in part, by the Samueli Foundation, recognizing the leadership of medical education programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education levels that provide innovative pain, substance use and addiction training, including non-pharmacological approaches to patient care. The awardees are:
Representatives from these institutions have been invited to publish their curricular resources and will be celebrated guests at the national workshop. The AAMC will open a second call for submissions of curricular innovations after the conclusion of the national workshop.
- Challenge Grants
will be awarded up to $25,000 each, funded in part by the Samueli Foundation, to respond to the training and development needs of academic medical centers. The grantees will develop tools and resources to support educators in their collaborative efforts to increase faculty proficiency in the areas of pain management, opioid use disorder (OUD), SUDs, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), safe prescribing practices, and addressing stigma. The grantees are
- Penn State College of Medicine
- The Robert Larner, M.D., College of Medicine at the University of Vermont
- The University of Florida College of Medicine
- The University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center
To share practices being implemented to respond to the opioid epidemic across medical schools and teaching hospitals, in early 2017, the AAMC held a series of webinars examining how academic medicine is responding to this troubling epidemic. Each webinar focuses on a different aspect of the response by medical schools and teaching hospitals, including patient care, to research, to medical education.
View the recordings of the webinar sub-series focusing on responses across the medical education continuum, "Innovative Educational Approaches to Safe Opiate Prescribing and Pain Management"
Capitol Hill Briefings
"Care in The Face of the Opioid Epidemic: How Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals are Reaching Underserved Communities" (October 17, 2017)
"How Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals are Addressing the Opioid Epidemic" (January 28, 2016)
An issue brief on how AAMC member institutions are responding to the opioid epidemic containing specific examples of the work medical schools and teaching hospitals are doing across their mission areas of medical education, patient care, and medical research
AAMC President and CEO Darrell Kirch, MD, lauds the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals for their multifaceted efforts to tackle pain management and opioid use disorder.
(April 30, 2019)
An op-ed by AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, in the Huffington Post
(April 13, 2016)
As part of the Hard Cases series on LinkedIn, which features health care professionals discussing some of the toughest challenges they've faced in their careers, AAMC executive vice president Atul Grover, MD, PhD, writes about his experiences as a resident and how we can apply lessons from the response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic to inform how academic medicine and the country addresses the opioid crisis.
(May 23, 2019)
An article in the Marshall Journal of Medicine by AAMC Chief Academic Officer John Prescott, MD
(October 24, 2016)
A letter responding to the committee's request for input on opioid policy recommendations
(March 19, 2018)
- —AAMC Web Exclusive
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Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach