Responding to the Opioid Epidemic Through Education, Patient Care, and Research

In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic and the crisis in their communities, AAMC member institutions are enhancing existing coursework in pain management and substance abuse in innovative ways. While students are exposed to this material through multiple modalities in medical school, 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 creating innovations in patient care, conducting cutting-edge research into substance abuse and pain management, and providing community education programs and events.

View the one-pager on how AAMC member institutions are responding to the opioid epidemic
Medical Schools Confront Opioid Crisis with Greater Focus on Pain, Addiction Education—AAMCNews
Medical Schools Engage Communities and Stakeholders in Response to Opioid Epidemic—AAMC Web Exclusive
View more examples of how medical schools and teaching hospitals are responding
Read the op-ed by AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, in the Huffington Post
Read the article in the Marshall Journal of Medicine by AAMC Chief Academic Officer John Prescott, MD

MedEdPORTAL Accepting Submissions for Opioid Education Collection
MedEdPORTAL invites authors and contributors of educational material on new approaches to substance abuse, delivering pain management education, and/or advancing medical research and promoting innovations in clinical care to submit content to be considered for a new collection on opioid education.
​Read More

Webinar Series

In early 2017, the AAMC began 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 from patient care, to research, to medical education.

View the recording of the Jan. 24, 2017 webinar “The Opioid Epidemic: Addressing the Patient Care Continuum through Academic Medicine” 

Register for the second webinar in the series, "Parallel Crises: The Over and Under Prescription of Opioids," which will be held at 12 p.m. ET on Feb. 27. It will feature:

  • Anna Lembke, MD, program director, Stanford University Addiction Medicine Fellowship and chief, Stanford Addiction Medicine Dual Diagnosis Clinic
  • Astha Singhal DMD, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Health Policy & Health Services Research, Boston University
  • Renee Hsia, MD, MSc, professor of emergency medicine, health policy, UCSF

Information on the medical education webinars, which will be a series of three, one hour sessions held April 5-7 focusing on UME, GME, and CME, is forthcoming.

Statement to the President and Congress

AAMC member institutions released a statement on March 29, 2016 expressing the commitment of medical schools to continue addressing the opioid epidemic through education and research as well as promoting advances in clinical care.

Read the statement
View the White House Fact Sheet on Additional Actions to Address the Prescription Opioid Abuse and Heroin Epidemic (March 2016)
View the White House Fact Sheet on Public and Private Sector Efforts to Address Prescription Drug Abuse and Herion Use (October 2015)

Capitol Hill Briefing (January 28, 2016)

The AAMC and the Congressional Academic Medicine Caucus hosted a January 28 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.

Read a summary of the briefing
Watch the video recording
Watch the Panel Perspectives video


For More Information Contact:
Tannaz Rasouli
Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
Telephone: 202-828-0525
Email: trasouli@aamc.org