Comprehensive addiction training is rare in American medical education, which denies physicians the necessary diagnostic and communication skills required to treat patients with substance use disorder, according to The New York Times.
Here are six things to know:
1. Timothy Brennan, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Chicago-based Mount Sinai Health System, specifically directs an addiction medicine fellowship. He told The New York Times fighting the opioid epidemic with the current physician workforce, which is inadequately trained to treat addiction, is “like trying to fight World War II with only the Coast Guard.”
2. Dr. Brennan directs one of only 52 addiction medicine fellowships nationwide. In August, a dozen of the fellowships received gold-standard board certification status from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. In addition, only 15 out of 180 American medical school programs teach addiction as including alcohol, tobacco and drugs, according to Kevin Kunz, MD, executive vice president of the Addiction Medicine Foundation.