Drexel University College of Medicine Named Center of Excellence for Drug Abuse Education
January 31, 2007
Drexel University College of Medicine, in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been selected as one of four academic medical sites to serve as national Centers of Excellence for Physician Information by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The centers will function as national models to support the
advancement of addiction awareness, prevention, and treatment in primary care
specialties such as internal medicine, family medicine, and pediatrics. The
centers will target physicians-in-training, including medical students and
residents, to identify what they should learn about substance abuse and to
develop curriculum that will help physicians identify, assess, and refer
patients with substance abuse disorders.
“While substance abuse disorders are a major cause of
disability and death nationally, and the medical complications of these disorders
heavily burden the healthcare system, most medical schools provide only minimal
substance abuse education to students and residents in primary care,” said
Barbara Schindler, MD, vice dean for Educational and Academic Affairs and professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Drexel University College of
Medicine, who is co-principal investigator for the Drexel/Penn Center of
Excellence. “Drexel University College of Medicine has integrated substance
abuse education into many of the clinical cases used in our curriculum,
providing specific lectures, resource sessions and clinical skills experiences
that focus on evaluating and treating patients with addictive disorders.”
Dr. Schindler and colleagues at Drexel University College of
Medicine currently have several drug abuse research projects and specialized
clinical care programs underway, including studies into the effects of maternal
cocaine addiction on infants and children, and the treatment of women with
co-morbid addictive and psychiatric disorders.
Drexel and the other Centers of Excellence will explore a
variety of drug abuse topics, including prescription drug abuse,
methamphetamine abuse and addiction, and substance abuse among people with
mental illness. The centers will identify knowledge gaps about drug addiction,
develop educational materials and resources to address those gaps, and
determine the most effective means of delivering this information.
In addition to the Drexel University College of Medicine/University
of Pennsylvania School of Medicine site, NIDA Centers of Excellence will be
located at the Creighton University School of Medicine; the University of North
Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences;
and the Massachusetts Consortium of Medical Schools, which includes the
University of Massachusetts Medical School, Tufts University School of
Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, and Harvard Medical
School/Cambridge Health Alliance.