Substance Abuse and Chronic Pain Management Curriculum

Acknowledging the dominant role that both addiction and chronic pain play in the practice of medicine in the modern era, our ambulatory curriculum features a number of venues for exposing residents to the depth and breadth of these increasingly complex content areas.  As of July, 2014, the Yale Primary Care Outpatient Center now features a weekly multidisciplinary Addiction Recovery Clinic, staffed by two board-certified Addiction Medicine internists, a behavioral psychologist, and an addiction medicine fellow.  All interns and PGY2s spend four consecutive half-days in this clinic each year, learning about the behavioral and pharmacologic treatment of patients suffering from addictions to opioids, cocaine, alcohol, and other substances.  Over the course of three years, residents undergo intensive training in the Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) model.1 Many residents also complete the online training to become a licensed Suboxone (buprenorphine) prescriber.  Through the Ambulatory Friday curriculum, residents benefit from didactic lectures from some of the preeminent experts in the field of addiction medicine, while also benefiting from experiential learning with visits to nearby methadone treatment centers, 12-step self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, and conversations with “guests in recovery.”  Finally, they have the opportunity to spend elective and/or ambulatory time rotating at one of several Yale-affiliated addiction treatment centers or chronic pain management centers.

1. Tetrault JM, et., al. Developing and implementing a multispecialty graduate medical education curriculum on Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). Subst Abus. 2012;33(2):168-81.