The treatment of patients with drug abuse is limited by a shortage of physicians qualified to conduct clinical addiction research and trained to translate research advances into practice. Both generalist physicians and infectious disease subspecialists, who provide care for patients with HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) infections lack expertise in addiction medicine. These workforce gaps limit the advancement, translation, and dissemination of drug abuse research. This renewal grant - led by established physician-researchers at Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine - will advance the Clinical Addiction Research and Education (CARE) Program, which has successfully fostered physician development in addiction research and education over the past 9 years. The CARE Program will pursue the following Specific Aims: 1. To carry out an Immersion Training in Addiction Medicine in order to: a. Train Chief Resident (CR) educators and their faculty mentors to teach state-of-the-art clinical care of patients with substance use by hosting the Chief Resident Immersion Training (CRIT) to build addiction medicine clinical skills including identification, assessment and management of drug and unhealthy alcohol use; CRIT will also highlight clinical research careers focused on drug abuse. b. Prepare fellows from Infectious Disease (ID) or other subspecialty programs training in HIV/HCV to incorporate drug abuse issues into research, teaching and clinical practice by hosting a Fellow Immersion Training (FIT), which will run in collaboration with CRIT; fellows will have additional focused exposure to clinical addiction research by CARE Program faculty. 2. To support medical trainees and early career physician faculty in the development of clinical research careers in drug abuse by recruiting medical students, residents, fellows and junior faculty to be mentored by CARE Program faculty on drug abuse research projects. 3. To support physicians and drug abuse researchers to be current on clinically relevant drug abuse research and research ethics including advances related to HIV and HCV by expanding on the website and research summary newsletter Alcohol, Other Drugs and Health: Current Evidence. The CARE program is a comprehensive effort to train a spectrum of physicians-in-training (i.e, from medical students to junior faculty) in clinical research methods, pharmacologic advances, medical complications, and other dimensions of care of patients with or at risk for drug abuse and dependence.
The CARE Program is significant because it will make important contributions to the development of the next generation of physician drug abuse researchers, educators and clinicians and to the dissemination of addiction research to advance the care of patients. Both will ultimately improve patient care and reduce the medical, social, and financial burden of drug abuse.
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