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TIME: Substance Abuse Care

This is a three-day course in fall of Year Two that aims to expand medical student knowledge and skills in the recognition, assessment and treatment of substance abuse disorders. Day One focuses on screening and diagnosis of substance abuse in the medical setting; Day Two on brief intervention methods to motivate patients towards recovery; and Day Three on treatment approaches. The course overall builds on the Genes to Society - Brain, Mind, Behavior (BMB) section. Students also apply patient-interviewing skills introduced in Clinical Foundations and in the patient interviewing component of BMB, and will review, expand and practice motivational interviewing methods introduced in the Longitudinal Clerkship. Each day of the course begins with lectures on the topic at hand, followed by clinical demonstrations, and concluding with practice sessions involving actual patients on Day One, simulated patients on Day Two and problem sets on Day Three.

Course Goals

After participating in this course, medical students will:

  • Gain increased knowledge about the epidemiology, importance of recognition and screening, brief intervention and benefits of specific treatments for substance use disorders.
  • Acquire attitudes toward substance use disorders that emphasize
    • A nonjudgmental stance toward the person,
    • A view of the often chronic nature of the condition,
    • The need for ongoing monitoring and treatment, and
    • Increased hopefulness for helping individuals with these disorders.
  • Develop history and examination skills and practice the use of motivational interviewing techniques in relation to substance use disorders and develop increased knowledge about the specific treatments for acute withdrawal and long-term recovery.

Course Directors

Dean MacKinnon, M#D#

Dean MacKinnon, M.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine

Karin Neufeld, M#D#, M#P#H#

Karin Neufeld, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
Director, General Hospital Psychiatry

Time Commitment and Course Length

The course runs for 20 hours over three days.

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