Category: Career

Posts by Jano Klimas about the academic career and the long and harrowing journeys of academics.

Addiction social work fellowship launched

man and boy

Addiction social work fellowship launched!

Substance use disorders disproportionately contribute to the global social and economic burden of disease.

Sadly, their treatment has been inadequate in large part due to an enduring research to practice gap. Here, the competencies for treating and preventing substance use disorders are often lacking from social work education curricula.

Addiction social work fellowship launched in Canada

Recently, the British Columbia Centre on Substance Use started a new interdisciplinary fellowship in addiction social work, nursing and medicine in Vancouver, Canada. We describe the new fellowship program and outline initial impact of the training on knowledge and skills in addiction social work from our qualitative evaluation of the fellowship.

“The Addiction Social Work Fellowship program accepts two positions in Social Work annually. The program strives for excellence in clinical training, scholarship, research, and advocacy and includes specialty training in inpatient and outpatient addiction services, as well as related concurrent disorders training. The program prepares Fellows to work clinically in the field of addictions and take leadership roles in academic and/or research settings.” (www.bccsu.ca)

 

To read the whole story, please visit the journal website https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wswp20 or lookup the paper using the following citation:

Callon, C., Reel, B., Bosma, H., Durante, E., Johnson, C., Wood, E., Klimas, J.  (In Press) Addiction Social Work Fellowship in Addiction Medicine: A Novel Programme in a Canadian setting. (Early Online July 30th) Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 

If you enjoyed reading this post, you may also enjoy reading about the fellowship here.

6 ways to improve addiction training

new skills training

Addiction training is feasible and acceptable for doctors and junior physicians; however, important barriers persist. We need to learn more about the experience of addiction physicians in the fellowship training programs. Here are the 6 ways to help improve the training.

6 ways to better training

Recently, new programmes have emerged to train the comprehensive addiction medicine professionals internationally and one of them is in Vancouver, Canada. We interviewed 26 persons who completed this training programme. They were psychiatrists, internal medicine and family medicine physicians, faculty, mentors, medical students and residents. All received both addiction medicine and research training. We found six barriers and enablers of training implementation: (1) organisations, (2) structures, (3) teachers, (4) learners, (5) patients and (6) community. Human resources, a variety of rotations, peer support and mentoring fostered implementation of addiction training. Money, time as well as space limitations hindered implementation.

Why training clinicians in addictions

Addiction care is usually provided by unskilled lay-persons in most countries and thus the resulting care inadequate. Effective treatments are overlooked and millions of people suffer despite recent discovery of new treatments for substance use disorders. In rare instances when addiction care is provided by medical professionals, they are not adequately trained in caring for people with substance use disorders; therefore, feel unprepared to provide such care. Physician scientists are the bridge between science and practice. Despite large evidence-base upon which to base clinical practice, most health systems have not combined training of healthcare providers in addiction medicine and research.

Klimas, J., Small, W., Ahamad, K., Mead, A., Rieb, L., Cullen, W., Wood, E., McNeil, R. (2017) Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing Addiction Medicine Fellowships: A Qualitative Study with Fellows, Medical Students, Residents and Preceptors. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 12:21
https://ascpjournal.biomedcentral.com/

Dr Wood tells the forum recipe for research-centre success

Wood

In a talk at the 2017 National Institute of Drug Abuse meeting on June 17th, Dr Evan Wood pondered lessons learned and success tips derived from his team’s experiences of building an International centre on substance use. The key ingredients in the recipe for success of research centre on substance use were:

Emphasize research productivity. Integrate educational opportunities and mentorship at every step. Use interdisciplinary approach wherever possible. Integrate research alongside clinical care.

nida

From AIDS to opioids

Historically, the new BC Centre on Substance Use grew out of HIV research centre for excellence. The emergence of powder cocaine in 1990’s led to an HIV outbreak in needle exchange when it was believed to be under control. This helped the team to make a compelling case about their unique situation for funders like the National Institute for Drug Abuse. Next, a centralized database of people treated on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) contains all data on everybody living with HIV in the province. This database enables longitudinal survival analysis of HIV outcomes. Using this data, another prospective cohort study of injecting drug users has demonstrated how the viral load went down between 1996-2004. Furthermore, the first supervised injection facility in North America – Insight – has led to about a dozen of supervised injecting facilities in the area nowadays. In sum, the evolution of the centre from HIV treatment to HIV prevention and now to addiction treatment (because of the population of study) is a result of concentrated efforts by researchers, providers and the community.

Current priorities

The centre’s mission is to provide provincial leadership in substance use and addiction research, education and clinical care guidance and to seamlessly integrate these pillars to help shape a comprehensive, connected system of treatment and care that reaches all British Columbians. (taken from www.bccsu.ca)

Co-speaker presentations

International sites with rapidly evolving HIV epidemics in patients with substance use disorder present an opportunity for rapid scale-up of interventions once proven efficacious with a promise of large public health impact (text taken from www.drugabuse.gov). The three speakers in this session moderated by Petra Jacobs, entitled “Research on HIV and Substance Use Disorder: International Perspectives,” including Drs Wood and Korthuis, have presented several research projects supported by NIDA and other institutions. I have attended the session. The discussant, Dr Metzger, closed the session with concluding remarks.