Mentors facilitate professional development in academia. But non-academic mentors are equally important. Here, I acknowledge non-academic mentors and their contribution to my development as a professional and as a person.
Engage in not for profit organizations.
Two organizations jump started my work in non-profits, the University Pastoral Centre and a youth club. I learned the power of community building through youth activism with John Lesondak and taught team building for non-profits with Ivan Humenik. With Ivan and friends, we also had a musical band, JK& band. These activities inspired me to get involved in the community projects for people who use drugs. (more…)
Despite the enormous burden of disease attributable to drug and alcohol addiction, there remain major challenges in implementing evidence-based addiction care and treatment modalities. This is partly because of a persistent lack of accessible, specialized training in addiction medicine. (more…)
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.
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
What can hospital teams teach medical students about addiction to help curb the opioid overdose epidemic?
In a new article published by the Substance Abuse journal, we report findings suggesting that the completion of an elective with a hospital-based Addiction Medicine Consult Team appeared to improve medical trainees’ knowledge which can help routinely establish clinical training teams elsewhere.
We found that both emerging and established physicians appear to be responsive to this type of training. The learner self-assessment can provide valuable feedback to the consultants, who can then focus more on the un-improved areas.
The study sample was drawn from medical students, residents and physicians who took part in a month-long rotation with a hospital-based addiction medicine consult team in Vancouver, Canada. Each year, approximately 60 learners go through the programme. Learners are asked to do a before and after self-assessment of their knowledge on addiction. The addiction rotation consisted of 4-12 weeks of full-time clinical training involving intake assessment, treatment planning, referrals to community agencies and starting people on evidence-based medications for substance use disorders. The learners take part in didactic lectures, bedside teaching, journal clubs and some prepare papers for submission to peer-reviewed journals.
At the end of the learners reported increased knowledge in all but one of the areas of teaching focus, including opioid use disorders; this increase was statistically significant. These preliminary, first-year results suggest that a structured clinical training program could lead to an increased knowledge on addiction.
For more info read the full article “Impact of a Brief Addiction Medicine Training Experience on Knowledge Self-assessment among Medical Learners” at: to: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08897077.2017.1296055