Objective. The objective of this project was to develop core competencies for education on opioids and addiction to be used in all Pennsylvania medical schools. Methods. The Pennsylvania Physician General created a task force that was responsible for the creation of the core competencies. A literature review was completed, and a survey of graduating medical students was conducted. The task force then developed, reviewed, and approved the core competencies. Results. The competencies were grouped into nine domains: understanding core aspects of addiction; patient screening for substance use disorder; proper referral for specialty evaluation and treatment of substance use disorder; proper patient assessment when treating pain; proper use of multimodal treatment options when treating acute pain; proper use of opioids for the treatment of acute pain (after consideration of alternatives); the role of opioids in the treatment of chronic noncancer pain; patient risk assessment related to the use of opioids to treat chronic noncancer pain, including the assessment for substance use disorder or increased risk for aberrant drug-related behavior; and the process for patient education, initiation of treatment, careful patient monitoring, and discontinuation of therapy when using opioids to treat chronic noncancer pain. Specific competencies were developed for each domain. Conclusions. These competencies will be incorporated into the educational process at all Pennsylvania medical schools. It is hoped that these curriculum changes will improve student knowledge and attitudes in these areas, thus improving patient outcomes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine