Teaching the science and humanity of addiction

published on July 20, 2022 by Kris Wallace and Michelle Hopkins in The Daily Scan

To graduate from medical school, you are required to have instruction across a wide range of care areas, but incredibly, you can graduate without any formal training to recognize and treat addiction. And yet, most physicians, regardless of their specialty, are likely to encounter patients dealing with the problematic use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, opioids, or stimulants. Thousands of people have paid with their lives for this knowledge gap.

In part because of its location near the epicentre of the toxic drug crisis, and in part because of its longstanding commitment to compassion and social justice, St. Paul’s Hospital and Providence Health Care (Providence) are leaders in preventing, treating, and supporting the people at its centre. In 2016, Providence launched the BC Centre for Substance Use (BCCSU).

From the beginning, the BCCSU has pursued a mandate to develop evidence-based approaches to address the all-too-common negative outcomes of untreated addiction. One of its first initiatives was launching a fellowship program to define the way addiction medicine is taught. It has since become the largest inter-disciplinary addiction medicine fellowship in North America…

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