Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration has called the current opioid crisis “the state’s greatest public health threat.” As part of his comprehensive and collaborative response, Gov. Baker convened the Medical Education Working Group on Prescription Drug Misuse, which brought together UMass Medical School, the Massachusetts Department of Public of Health, the Massachusetts Medical Society and the state’s other three medical schools to establish core competencies designed to ensure that graduating medical students are well-prepared in the prevention and management of prescription drug misuse.
In November 2015 the working group’s efforts culminated with the recommendation of 10 core competencies centered on the prevention, treatment and management of prescription drug misuse.
To date, UMMS has provided safe-prescribing training (incorporating all 10 competencies) for over 800 medical learners (AAMC: Tackling the Opiate Epidemic Through Educational Innovation and Partnership), including students and faculty from the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Nursing, and UMMS Graduate Medical Education. These events feature hands-on training sessions to optimally prepare prescribers by allowing them to apply the 10 competencies across a spectrum of scenarios, including responding to opioid overdose with the use of naloxone, coaching at-risk patients to seek addiction care, and confronting their own potential unconscious biases and practicing empathic communication skills. Watch this demonstration “A Day in the Emergency Room – Opioid Reversal in Action (Simulation).”
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