Online medical education course on addiction released by TRI and MedU

Online Course on Addiction Released by Treatment Research Institute and MedU

The Treatment Research Institute (TRI) has partnered with MedU, an experienced developer of online medical education, as well as the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the Betty Ford-Hazelden Foundation (HBFF) to produce a Course on Addiction and Recovery Education (CARE) for use in medical schools. The project was conceived and directed by TRI’s A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D., and supported by a grant from the Scaife Foundation. The new course has several components:

Online Course. The web-based course includes 12 video modules, each 25 to 40 minutes in length, on topics such as the pharmacology of alcohol, treatment of opioid withdrawal, and short- and long-term effects of cocaine on brain function. Each module employs engaging graphics and reference materials and is presented by an expert in the field. The modules are designed to be used together as a single course or can be used separately as part of existing courses in multiple departments.

Clinical Case Scenarios. Three interactive virtual patient cases illustrate the modules by presenting common clinical scenarios: a pregnant woman who continues to drink; a chronic pain patient who regularly uses more opioid medication than prescribed; and an adolescent male under treatment for asthma who also smokes marijuana.

Faculty Training. To prepare faculty to deliver the course, TRI and MedU are developing an immersion education experience for medical school faculty in partnership with the Betty Ford-Hazelden Foundation, which is modifying its Summer Internship for Medical Students (SIMS) program to serve as a rapid and efficient method of educating mid-level medical school faculty in essential elements of clinical care for addicted patients.

SIMS is a one-week immersion education program that has been completed by more than 2,000 students from over 100 medical schools during its 10-year history. Because medical school faculty will need additional instruction to enable them to serve as mentors for the MedU course, the SIMS program is being supplemented with experiential and academic information that will better prepare teaching faculty for mentoring students in this topic. To this end, a new manual has been developed and additional sessions with Betty Ford physicians have been included to offer the kind of peer-to-peer instruction and guidance necessary to make the visiting faculty comfortable in mentoring the second year students in the planned course.

Availability. The full course, with all supplemental teaching materials, was completed and released in time for the 2014-2015 academic year. It is available by subscription from MedU, a major provider of web-based medical education materials. For more information, visit the MedU website at

AAMC Accepting Applications for Innovation Awards

The Association of American Medical Colleges is accepting applications for its Clinical Care Innovation Challenge Awards, which recognize AAMC-member medical schools and teaching hospitals that have implemented or are developing programs to address clinical care innovations, including new delivery, payment, and training models.

The awards, which range from $5,000 to $10,000, recognize successfully implemented programs or support one-year pilot projects. Pilot sites will  participate in a learning collaborative to support their implementation efforts.

AAMC is accepting applications through November 24, 2014, at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. To receive updates or for more information, email your name and contact information to or go to

AACOM Adopts New Strategic Plan to Advance Osteopathic Medical Education

In announcing a new Strategic Plan for the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, AACOM President Stephen C. Shannon, D.O., M.P.H., writes that “The new framework includes many changes that will affect all levels of our profession: The scope of our mission has been enlarged, our goals for accomplishing that mission are bigger, and our objectives for achieving those goals go beyond where we have gone before. We believe that achieving these goals will make us more aligned from the inside out, more operationally efficient, better able to measure progress against goals, and will help to differentiate us more completely from other associations in the medical education space.”

The following strategic goals are enumerated in the plan:

1. Position osteopathic medicine as an effective solution to the nation’s health care needs and assure the continuous flow of resources and recognition for osteopathic medical education by serving as the collective voice of the colleges of osteopathic medicine and associated osteopathic medical education programs.

2. Promote osteopathic medical education as a preferred pathway for future physicians in order to satisfy the need for sufficient numbers of qualified physicians to meet U.S. health care needs.

3. Support member schools in preparing osteopathic physicians who are ready to meet the evolving health care needs of America by promoting excellence, innovation and a culture of lifelong learning throughout medical education.

4. Demonstrate the distinctive value and approach of osteopathic medical education by providing opportunities for collaborative research and scholarship.

5. Operate as an efficient and fiscally responsible organization working in support of its mission and its members.

For a comprehensive discussion of the Strategic Plan, see Dr. Shannon’s message at