Budding doctors seek advanced drug education


Breaking News Emails

Receive last minute alerts and special reports. News and stories that matter, delivered in the morning on weekdays.

By Will Stone, KJZZ, NPR, Kaiser Health News

The US Surgeon General's office estimates that more than 20 million people suffer from a substance use disorder. Meanwhile, the country's drug overdose crisis shows no signs of slowing down.

Yet, there are not enough doctors specializing in addiction treatment – physicians with extensive clinical training and board-certified addictions.

The epidemic of opioids has made this deficit cruelly painful. And it encourages medical institutions across the country to create scholarships for future physicians wishing to treat substance-related disorders with the same precision and science as other diseases.

These scholarship programs, which now number more than 60 students, offer physicians a year or two of postdoctoral training in clinics and hospitals where they learn evidence-based approaches to treating addiction.

Such programs attract a new generation of talented idealistic doctors, idealists like Mrs. Hillary Tamar.

Driven To Connect with patients in need

Tamar, now in her second year of family medicine residency in Phoenix, was not thinking of addiction medicine when she started her first medical school in Chicago.

"As a medical student, honestly, you do your emergency rotation, people refer to a patient as" looking for pain medication "and that's bad," Tamar said. "And that's all you do about it."

But in fourth year of medical school, she was assigned to an internship in a rehab center in southern Arizona.

"I was able to make contact with people in a way that was not possible for me in another specialty," recalls the 28-year-old.


Source link