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Drs Birkhaed and Jendusa Receive Training Award for Substance Use Disorders Treatment Dissemination

January 27, 2017—Family medicine residents Andrew Birkhaed, MD, and Michael Jendusa, MD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) were selected to receive STFM/NIDA Training Award in Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Treatment Dissemination. The award was open to STFM member residents and fellows through a partnership of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The award supports the dissemination of SUD research findings and encourages the implementation of evidence-based practices in health care settings.

"Like my fellow residents, I chose to do my family medicine residency training at UIC because of a commitment to improving the quality of medical care that various vulnerable populations across our society receive," says Dr Jendusa. "We see individuals from all socioeconomic, cultural, and racial groups in all parts of our country being affected by SUD, but few people are actually receiving the care that they need. Every day in our clinics we encounter substance use disorders of various types ranging from alcohol to tobacco to stimulants to opioids, but many of our patients have limited access to specialist services. It is necessary that we as individual physicians and a residency program expand our abilities to identify and treat them in an evidence-based manner."

Drs Birkhaed and Jendusa will receive a training award of $10,000 to build an evidence-based curriculum at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The award includes a $2,000 stipend for their mentor, Evelyn Figueroa, MD. 

"Michael and I will examine the current curricula for residents and faculty within our family medicine department and compare those teachings to evidence-based policies currently being implemented in our hospital and clinics from interdisciplinary teams of physicians, pharmacists, behavioral scientists, psychiatrists, and nurses," says Dr Birkhaed. "From there we will survey our residents to assess for subject areas that require more focus in order to improve their confidence and skill in recognizing, managing, and treating substance use disorder. We plan to ensure that residents are broadly trained in substance use disorder, as well as kept up to date and certified for newer innovative topics based on the publications by the NIH and NIDA and through additional literature review." 

Drs Birkhaed and Jendusa will attend the 2017 NIDA Clinical Trials Network Annual Steering Committee Meeting and will present their results at the 2018 STFM Annual Spring Conference.

"Upon completion of evaluating our curriculum, and then implementing the necessary changes, we hope to have a model in place that enables residents to effectively care for patients with SUD," says Dr Jendusa. "This places emphasis specifically on improving residents' confidence in their ability to identify and treat SUD while using methods that reliable evidence has shown to be effective. We also hope that after doing this we can objectively review the effects it has had on our patient care. And, if positive, the curriculum can be extended to other providers within our department. This will ultimately lead to us not only improving the quality of care that our patients receive, but also increase the number of SUD patients that we are able to care for as a department."

This is the third time STFM has partnered with NIDA on this award to promote knowledge of evidence-based substance abuse and addiction treatment within family medicine and facilitate the academic growth, advanced education, and development of future scientists in the field of drug abuse and addiction. Ryan Jackman, MD, was the recipient of this award in 2016, and will be presenting his project at the 2017 STFM Annual Spring Conference. 

Copyright 2018 by Society of Teachers of Family Medicine