U.S. Medical Schools to Expand Training on Opioid Abuse

HealthDay News — U.S. medical schools are expanding training to address the increasing number of deaths from opioid overdose, according to a report published by The Associated Press.1

Amid rising overdose deaths, medical schools across the United States are rethinking their training on opioids, according to the report. Federal health experts have said that opioids have been prescribed too often and that poor training is often the cause. In 2014, opioids were responsible for nearly 19,000 deaths across the United States, an increase of more than 400% since 2000.

Research has found that medical students at American schools spend much less time learning to treat pain than their peers in other countries. Medical students feel they are not receiving enough training, and at Harvard, a group of students organized their own clinic on addiction treatment this year. In April, more than 60 U.S. medical schools pledged to teach new federal guidelines for prescribing opioids; dozens of schools have received federal grants to teach a standard interviewing method used to help with drug abuse screening.

“There’s a sense of urgency to tackle this issue from all fronts, and I think medical schools and teaching hospitals are really committed to doing their part,” Tannaz Rasouli, senior director of public policy and strategic outreach for the American Association of Medical Colleges, said in the report.


1. US medical schools expand training to curb painkiller abuse. Associated Press. Worcester, MA. June 28, 2016. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/a0a7596187b7437dbd2aaf21cf4b4b17/us-medical-schools-expand-training-curb-painkiller-abuse. Accessed July 8, 2016.