Conference Call #5

January 27, 2005



Present on the line were Drs. Schuckit, Guschwan, Tapert, Fireman, Book, DiMartini, Sakai, Busch, Brown, Hernandez-Avila, Sattar, along with M. Gregg.

The conference call began with a review of the progress of lectures by first-year scholars. These are progressing well, most have reached a point where there will be only one or two more drafts of text, and it is time to develop slides. Marc is very confident that these will be ready for presentation at the March 2005 meeting.

Marc shared some guidelines regarding the preparation of slides, as well as suggestions of beginning by identifying the key single most essential slide, developing that, and then moving on to the second most important slide, and so on, in a manner that begins with and highlights the four or so major points of the presentation.

The next topic was to discuss plans for the upcoming meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30th, and ending at noon on Saturday, April 2nd. The format will include a representation of the lecture on “How to Give a Lecture,” presentations of full lectures by first-year scholars, presentations of variations of lectures (shorter time frames/different audiences) by second-year scholars, an update on PowerPoint, the potential presentation of additional new lectures by Marc/Marianne/Susan, career developments discussions, and so on. We will be joined by two guests, one from Brown and the other from Columbia, who will observe and participate in discussions. Dinners for all members and significant others will take place on Wednesday and Friday evenings.

The next item for discussion was a very brief review of progress made by scholars at their institutions since our recent meeting in San Francisco. These included:

Marian Fireman from Oregon Health Sciences University described the development of two new lectures for medical students, as well as her continued participation as a key person regarding education of medical students and residents in her Department.

Sarah Book from the Medical University of South Carolina was able to give her AMSP lecture on alcoholism and social anxiety to a group of industry trainees who come to her University for training. Her lecture was very well received. Also, her institution is in the process of submitting a renewal application to NIAAA of their Alcohol Center Grant. There is a new educational component in this grant and Dr. Book was chosen to be the educator for medical students, psychiatry residents, and family medicine residents in this component (if it is funded). She also continues to lecture to the PGY-1 and PGY-2 residents on opiate and benzodiazepine dependence. She is also on an R21, which was funded by NIAAA, to evaluate the impact of educating addiction care providers on the benefits of pharmacotherapy of alcoholism. Dr. Book has also submitted two manuscripts and was able to use tips provided by Dr. Schuckit on how to write a review paper. This paper is about using anticonvulsants for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal and alcohol dependence. She has also submitted a symposium to RSA on alcoholism and anxiety and has submitted an abstract to RSA on a survey of medical students on their expectancies related to alcohol use. Plus, she was asked to repeat the AMSP lecture she gave back in June by the managers who were at her June lecture, this time to new trainees and they asked her to talk for two hours instead of one (with two weeks’ notice!). Dr. Book continues to supervise two addiction fellows in their psychopharmacology of addiction clinic.

Andrea DiMartini from the University of Pittsburgh has had a very productive four months. The Director of the Medical Student Education for Psychiatry left her program and she is taking over the addictions teaching portion of the curriculum. She met with professors who give the four hours of addictions didactics and is working with them to coordinate the lectures with the other didactic sections and to simplify the material so it is pertinent to medical student needs. Due to this new position, she is now a member of the medical school curriculum committee for the first-year medical student curriculum, increasing the amount of time students will be exposed to teaching on addictions and expanding the clinical experience. This year students will have one half day of a clinical experience at either an inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment program and students will also now attend a 12-step meeting as well.

In addition, she designed and gave a lecture to hepatology fellows on alcohol use disorders and liver disease using parts of Marian Fireman’s AMSP lecture on HCV and liver disease. She is again giving the lecture on “How to give a lecture” to the graduating psychiatry residents and is working with residence training to help residents develop their senior projects, offering graduating residents to work with them on her alcohol relapse research.

In addition, she is working with the web design developers to optimize patient educational materials on tobacco use and expanding data on alcohol use and dangers. Finally, she and Marian Fireman published a review of alcohol and substance use in transplant populations in Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation, and published two other articles in Psychosomatics and Liver Transplantation.

Joseph Sakai of the University of Colorado has markedly expanded his efforts regarding development of lectures in substance use disorders for psychiatric interns and medical students. He is also participating in a fourth-year elective in substance use disorders, where students work with him in his clinic treatment substance dependent youth, and is gaining prominence at the University regarding his serving as a resource throughout the medical school for substance use disorders-related curricula. Because of his interest in increasing education on substance use disorders, Sakai was asked to lecture on pharmacological treatments for substance use disorders in the fourth year medical student clinical pharmacology course and was recently asked to sit on the advisory committee for a proposed K07 curriculum development grant submitted by his university’s associate dean for curriculum & evaluation. Through his work with AMSP, Sakai has worked closely with the vice chair of education in his department, first developing a standardized patient for use in the fourth year medical students’ clinical skills exam, and more recently drafting a manuscript examining risk taking attributes, risk behaviors (including substance use and associated behaviors), and perceived link with clinical decision making; this manuscript is close to submission.

Alisa Busch at Harvard University is in the process of making contact with faculty at her medical school in the process of increasing education on substance use disorders. She has received great encouragement from those she has approached, and is planning to join the process of revising the medical school curriculum.

Prizada Sattar from Creighton University in Nebraska is establishing ongoing contact with the psychiatry course Director, and has developed lectures for both first- and second-year medical students.

Carlos Hernandez-Avila from Connecticut has added one hour to the lectures on substance use disorders for first-year medical students, is teaching students about opioid dependence (using Joe Sakai’s lecture as a base), and has developed lectures on treatment of substance use disorders for both third-year medical students and first-year psychiatry residents.

Randy Brown has assumed the role at the University of Wisconsin as Director of the fourth-year medical student elective, and was able to add two half-days regarding substance use disorders as part of a rotation on the Consultation Service. Randy has joined the regular panel of lecturers for first-year residents in his Department, delivering up to two lectures per year that are substance related. He deserves wonderful congratulations for his recent election as Vice President of the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine, and he is in the process of submitting his first R01 Grant Application as a Principal Investigator. At the same time, he has volunteered for membership in the Resident Education Committee, reviewed Family Practice curriculum guidelines to get a sense of gaps in the curriculum, and is working toward mechanisms for encouraging expansion of substance use disorders education within his school.

The meeting ended with a discussion of other issues relevant to our upcoming meeting. We are all looking forward to getting together at the Park Lane Hotel in New York on March 30, 2005. Marc is very enthusiastic about helping finalize the development of first-year lectures.

Marc A. Schuckit, M.D.

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