Thursday, June 07, 2018
Treating the Opioid Epidemic Requires More Specially Trained Doctors
While all doctors are trained to treat pain and addiction, specialists in particular fields are critical to address this issue in rural and urban communities alike. The bipartisan Opioid Workforce Act of 2018 would provide federal support for an additional 1,000 graduate medical education positions over the next five years in hospitals that have, or are in the process of establishing, accredited residency programs in addiction medicine, addiction psychiatry, or pain management, strengthening the health care workforce serving on the front lines of the nation's opioid epidemic.
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 presciption 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 abuse 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.
Read the in the Marshall Journal of Medicine by AAMC Chief Academic Officer John Prescott, MD
View the on how AAMC member institutions are responding to the opioid epidemic
Read the AAMC's to the House Ways and Means Committee's request for input on opioid policy recommendations
Read further coverage of various aspects of academic medicine's response to the opioid epidemic:
—AAMC Web Exclusive
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
October 17, 2017
"Care in The Face of the Opioid Epidemic: How Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals are Reaching Underserved Communities," a congressional breifing hosted by the AAMC and the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus, presented examples of how teaching hosptials are providing treatment for patients with substance use disorders in light of the opioid epidemic. Panelists described innovative techniques to increase access to nalaxone and medication-assisted treatment, partnerships with local communities and other organizations, and models of how to provide comprehensive addiction and substance use care.
January 28, 2016
The AAMC and the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus hosted a Capitol Hill Briefing titled "How Medical Schools and Teaching Hospitals are Addressing the Opioid Epidemic,” focused on the role of academic medicine in the response to the opioid epidemic and to other related public health issues. Panelists described how training at medical schools and teaching hospitals exposes students and residents to firsthand experiences with innovative clinical care and research efforts aimed at tackling the most pressing community health challenges.
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Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach