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J Osteopath Med




CONTEXT: Medical school graduates are generally not well prepared to treat patients with substance use disorders (SUDs), even though opioid overdose deaths in the United States have increased in recent years. When it comes to training in SUDs, osteopathic medicine lags far behind allopathic medicine. It was only in 2019 that the American Osteopathic Association approved Board Certification in Addiction Medicine to help combat the opioid epidemic. Few articles have been published in the literature pertaining to substance use education for osteopathic students and trainees.

OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to expand the education of osteopathic medical students and primary care residents in SUDs and measure the effect that education had on the attitudes and knowledge of student and residents about SUDs.

METHODS: This study collected anonymous data in the form of a voluntary online survey from third- and fourth-year students at an osteopathic medical school and family medicine residents. The survey was completed by 115 students and 29 family medicine residents. Participants completed a pretest survey and then participated in the Physician Undergraduate and Resident Substance Use Education (PURSUE) curriculum developed by the researchers. This consisted of three online modules covering Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), substance use assessments, and treatment of SUDs. Upon conclusion of the training modules, medical student participants then completed a posttest survey to assess for any changes in knowledge and attitude. Participants also answered questions related to clinical case scenarios involving patients at varying risk levels who were assessed utilizing SBIRT.

RESULTS: Students and residents who participated in the training demonstrated an increase in their average scores between the pretest and posttest, indicating effectiveness in learning from the modules. The overall increase in average scores on the pretest and posttest was 6.5 %, which was determined to be statistically significant (p

CONCLUSIONS: The results of our project support the need and benefit of incorporating educational modules on this topic area within medical school curriculums and residency training. Expanding the number of healthcare workers proficient in providing this type of care in these types of settings will improve the quality of and access to medical care in some of our highest-need populations.


Publication of this article was supported by the Rowan University Libraries 2023-24 Open Access Publishing Fund.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Published Citation

Petrides, J., Jha, S., Kowalski, A., Hosein, S., Collins, P. & Coren, J. (2024). Expansion of osteopathic medicine practitioner education on substance use disorders. Journal of Osteopathic Medicine.