BUSM Professor of Medicine Jeffrey H. Samet, MD and colleagues* recently authored a viewpoint commentary in the Oct. 23 issue of JAMA on physician education in addiction medicine. The commentary explained that there is a “…failure of medical education systems to train physicians in addiction medicine. Despite the enormous burden of disease attributable to addiction in North America, there have traditionally been exceptionally few opportunities for physicians to obtain advanced skills in this area outside of addiction psychiatry.”
The essay concluded, “Ultimately, through the greater incorporation of addiction medicine into the spectrum of medical training, patients will be better served by narrowing the health care quality chasm in addressing substance use disorders. The development of addiction medicine as a formal medical subspecialty also has the potential to begin the slow process of public education required to treat those who are alcohol- or drug-addicted with compassion and care, and to move away from over reliance on punitive approaches that have not served the interests of patients, public health, or taxpayers.”
In addition to serving as Professor of Medicine at BUSM, Samet is Professor of Community Health Sciences at BUSPH, and Chief and Chair of the Section of General Internal Medicine at BMC and BUSM respectively. He also serves as Medical Director of Addictions Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Support Services at the Boston Public Health Commission.
Samet’s research has focused on linkage of substance abuse treatment and primary medical care; addressing substance abuse issues in the primary care setting; the impact of alcohol and drug use in HIV-infected persons, the delay in establishing primary medical care for HIV infection; and HIV prevention strategies in Eastern Europe. He is the principal investigator on several current NIAAA and NIDA-funded studies. He is an internist and has been a primary care physician since 1983.
Read the entire JAMA article.
*Evan Wood, MD, PhD, FRCPC; Jeffrey H. Samet, MD; and Nora D. Volkow, MD, authored the viewpoint.