Melissa Fischer, MD
Since January 2016, nearly 800 UMass Medical School medical and graduate nursing students, residents and fellows have completed the innovative Opioid Safe-prescribing Training Immersion (OSTI) that was developed at UMMS. In an editorial published by the American Association of Medical Colleges in Curriculum Inventory and Reports, Melissa Fischer, MD, MEd, details the innovative curriculum developed by UMMS with other Massachusetts medical schools in response to the opioid crisis.
“This first-in-the-nation initiative was described as a model for cross-institutional partnership to address a public health emergency in real time,” wrote Dr. Fischer, professor of medicine and associate dean for undergraduate medical education, academic innovation and the interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation (iCELS) “The co-existence of a high prevalence of pain in the U.S. population and a public health crisis of opioid misuse disorders necessitate enhanced training.”
In 2015, UMass Medical School answered the call by Gov. Charlie Baker to address the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts. UMMS swiftly revised its curriculum to include the teaching of 10 agreed-upon core competencies for the prevention and management of prescription drug misuse so students would develop strong skills and a foundation of knowledge in the real world.
The core competencies approach the opioid epidemic from the perspectives of prevention, treatment of at-risk patients and management of substance use disorder as a chronic disease, offering tools for patient assessment and building awareness of the related social determinants of health, associated stigma and barriers to care.
“The University of Massachusetts Medical School was privileged to participate in the development of the core competencies,” Fischer wrote.
Curriculum Inventory and Reports (CIR) is designed to serve as the premier benchmarking and reporting tool on content, structure, delivery and assessment of medical school curricula.
Related stories on UMassMedNow:
Safe-opioid prescribing working group details success in AAMC journal Academic Medicine
AP Big Story: UMass Medical School trains students to fight opioid abuse
Gov. Baker lauds UMass Medical School graduates at 43rd Commencement
UMMS implements curriculum changes in current academic year to address opioid crisis
UMMS working with other Mass. medical schools, governor on opioid prescribing practices
UMMS Graduate School of Nursing adopts opioid conscious curriculum