Saturday, October 29, 2011
Addiction medicine is a complex field, requiring doctors to understand the ends and outs of the disease. The majority of doctors have very little, if any, training in the field which is why colleges have begun offering graduate programs that will teach new doctors how to treat the disease as well as the many different variables associated with one patient to the next.
The National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) has given the University of Buffalo a $900,000 grant for the development of a graduate medical education programs in addiction medicine.
“There is a shortage of academically oriented addiction medicine physicians qualified to conduct clinical research on addictions, to translate this research into practice, and to teach medical students and a wide range of residents about addiction in academic medical centers,” said Dr. Richard Blondell, Director of Addictions Research at the university, in an NIAAA news release. “This grant will allow established leaders in addiction medicine to help bridge the gap between research and medical education on one hand and clinical practice on the other, and train a new cohort of leaders who will continue to advance the field.”
This will fund a council of leaders in the field of addiction who will have the ability to form programs that can be used across the country, the Associated Press reports.
“The purpose is to educate primary care doctors as well as emergency medicine physicians and, frankly, physicians in all the specialties on how to treat their patients who are already addicted, while also preventing non-addicted patients from developing addictions. Part of that education involves connecting the dots. If a person with an addiction is going into the hospital for orthopedic surgery, the surgeon needs to know about the addiction. Right now, there is no established infrastructure for disseminating that information.”
The grant was formulated to cover the whole spectrum of addictions, from alcohol to prescription drugs, according to Blondell in a University of Buffalo news release.