There is a shortage of academically oriented Addiction Medicine physicians qualified to conduct clinical research on the addiction disorders, to translate this research into practice, and to teach medical students and a wide range of residents about addiction in academic medical centers. This grant - led by established physician researcher/educators who represent the current leaders of the field - will advance the emerging specialty of Addiction Medicine, help establish a core of post- graduate education programs in academic medical centers, and lay the foundation for ongoing and self-sustaining post-graduate medical education and research in Addiction Medicine for decades to come. The goals of this project are to: 1) Establish a "National Addiction Medicine Residency Assistance Council" (NAMRAC) that will develop "Standards of Excellence" for physician training;2) Identify up to 10 Addiction Medicine "Model Residency Programs" and provide their faculty and staff with technical and financial assistance needed to create a successful application to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME);and 3) Disseminate curricula and related products and recruit new members to NAMRAC so it can serve as an ongoing resource for development of additional Addiction Medicine residency programs. The project is designed to rapidly deploy intensive assistance to the Model Residencies to help them overcome the barriers that frequently thwart new programs. The Model Residencies, in turn, will produce educational products, including "Research-to- Practice Physician Education Modules" that can be used both in physician training and in helping practicing physicians to incorporate the latest knowledge from alcohol and addictions research into their patient care. It is also expected that this project will engage recently trained physicians and junior investigators to pursue career opportunities in academic Addiction Medicine. This program is significant because it will 1) help bridge the gap between research and medical education on one hand and clinical practice on the other, and 2) train a new cohort of clinician researcher/educators who will pick up the torch from the current leaders in Addiction Medicine and carry it forward.
This comprehensive effort will touch an entire generation of young physicians (i.e., medical students, residents in a variety of specialties, and Addiction Medicine trainees), and will help them apply advances in research to real-world practice. It will inspire these physicians to pursue an academic career where they will make important contributions to medical education and research. This will ultimately improve patient care and reduce the medical, social, and financial burden of the addiction disorders.