Conference Call #7

December 20, 2005



Present on the line were Drs. Alisa Busch, Carlos Hernandez-Avila, Olivera Bogunovic, Karin Neufeld, Jill Williams, Tim Fong, Marianne Guschwan, Randy Brown, Nikki Campbell, Susan Tapert, Marc Schuckit and Marcy Gregg.

The meeting began with an overview of the agenda. Scholars were asked to make any suggestions or additions that they might have to our one-hour work schedule.

The first issue was an update on the progress scholars are making on lectures. One of the lectures is done, and the four remaining lectures are very close to final drafts. The scholars were reminded what a challenging task it is to develop a lecture that is logical (and make the audience feel smart), offer sufficient information to allow someone else to be able to deliver the lecture, and avoid writing our full sentences or paragraphs, while fitting into the format that has developed for the lectures on the website. Specific questions were then raised by the scholars regarding the appropriate amount of repetition; the optimal way to handle the summary at the end; and some suggestions about how new scholars in 2006 might be optimally prepared for the project that faces them. The suggestions included: 1) encouraging scholars to do a rough draft of some of the material they might be developing while still at their first meeting; 2) reminding the scholars that the lectures are aimed at first- and second-year medical students who know almost nothing about medicine and for whom jargon is likely to be not understood, and 3) the possibility of having a scholar (Jill volunteered) hand out a subsection of his or her lecture showing what the first draft sent in looked like/ how this progressed to a second draft/ and what the final draft developed into.

Scholars were reminded that slides are due to Marc Schuckit by January 15th. The need to have slides simple, easily understood, not too complex, and limited in number was emphasized by Marc. The junior scholars will now develop their slides with their seniors, with the hopes of having the set of slides to Marc no later than January 15th.

Scholars were then reminded about the upcoming meeting beginning on March 15, 2006 at the Surf and Sand Hotel. The means of transportation were described; the importance of being there well before the 5:00 p.m. Wednesday beginning meeting time was emphasized; the fact that senior scholars will also be presenting their lectures noted; and the wonders of the Surf and Sand Resort were discussed.

Marc then presented an update of some changes being made in the brochure and website. Basically, while this will not affect any current scholars, the incoming first-year scholars will now receive a $5,000 salary offset their first year (during which time they are receiving benefits of a great deal of teaching regarding lectures and so on), and second-year scholars will receive the remaining $10,000 salary offset (as this is when they will help with teaching). These changes will be explained to all of the first-year scholars.

The group then offered thanks and congratulations to Carlos Hernandez-Avila for carrying out the survey of graduate scholars and preparing our poster for RSA (he needs to be certain that Marc, Susan, and Marianne have a copy of a draft of the abstract for the poster no later than January 1st); Tim for his presentation of an AMSP poster at the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry; and Nikki for her work developing a poster for the American Academy of Medical Colleges meeting.

Marc then brought the group up to date on the recruitment of four scholars for 2006, including an individual originally selected from Brown, one from the University of Chicago, an individual from the University of Minnesota, and a potential scholar from Georgetown University. Scholars are to forward Marc their suggestions for the optimal use of the final remaining opening to become effective August 2006.

The meeting then progressed to a brief overview of the progress being made by each scholar. More details will be offered in the March meeting. The progress included:

1. Alisa Busch has been working actively with the psychiatrists dealing with the medical school education restructuring, making efforts to be certain that substance use disorders are well represented. In addition to visiting a medical student psychiatry interest group to educate about substance use disorders (SUDs), she is in discussion with Harvard Medical School Internal Medicine educators regarding incorporating more SUD education into their Core curriculum.

2. Carlos has developed an opportunity to have substance use disorder cases incorporated into the Medical Problem Solving Course for first-year medical students. He will also work closely with faculty members leading small groups as part of this process to be certain they are optimally trained on teaching about such cases.

3. Olivera met with first- and second-year medical students at their psychiatry interest dinner. She is developing discussion sessions on substance use disorders, including withdrawal. Additional efforts include working to develop a non time lecture on substance use disorders and is now planning to have psychiatry residents rotate through both inpatient and outpatient substance use disorders rehabilitation course.

4. Jill has met with the Director of Medical Student Education for Psychiatry, reviewed the curriculum across all medical student years, and found that there is a total of 16 hours, mostly in years one through three, and mostly didactic. She is working with the Director, an psychiatrist with a background in substance use disorders, to both optimize the teaching and to look toward the possibility of any expansions. At the same time, she is increasing the amount of time spent lecturing to medical students by giving a two-hour lecture focusing on diagnostic criteria, detoxification protocols, and brief treatments to be delivered to clerkship students in the spring.

5. Karin has had successful meetings with the Chair of her Department, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and a key member of the Department of Psychiatry who is responsible for the Psychiatry curriculum offered to first-year medical students. Her work with the Psychiatry Residency Director, as well as those mentioned above, has resulted in two additional hours of lectures in the first-year medical student curriculum beginning in 2006, along with a commitment by the Chair and Residency Directors to increase hours spent by first and fourth-year residents on the Substance Use Disorders Treatment Services Unit.

6. Tim has created a six-week selective for first-year medical students based on the AMSP elective, has developed an elective for fourth-year students to work clinically on inpatient and outpatient substance use disorder treatment programs, and he is working as part of the once per month evening series on alcohol and drug dependence issues for medical students. He now has two medical students working with him regarding research on substance use disorder education in medical schools, and is working to update the problem-based curriculum approach at UCLA.

7. Randy continues to deliver six hours of lectures related to substance use disorders each year to a variety of groups at the University of Wisconsin. This includes two lectures to family practice residents, two to second-year medical students, two to nurse practitioner students, and one lecture for undergraduate sociology students. He continues to function as a preceptor to first-year medical students in his own clinic, providing one-on-one teaching on the clinical care of patients with substance-related problems. Dr. Brown was also invited to speak by the Wisconsin Dept. of Health and Family Services regarding diversion programming for drug-involved offenders in the criminal justice system. He is designing clinical tools to facilitate the monitoring of patients with chronic non-cancer pain who take opioid analgesics to be adopted by the 27 statewide University of Wisconsin Health Family Practice Clinics.

8. Nikki continues to give the core curriculum lectures for medical students year one through three, and has added two substance-related lectures in the Psychiatry Residency program. She delivered a lecture on substance use in sports to a women’s college, is developing a spring elective lunch time series for medical students relating to substance use disorders, and is utilizing the “peer advocate liaisons program” to help her regarding research specific to medical students, substance use, and related surveys.

9. Finally, Susan Tapert and Marianne Guschwan brought us up to date regarding their activities at their local schools. Susan is once again offering the AMSP elective to medical students, and Marianne has transferred her job to become the new Director of the Detoxification Unit at her hospital, where she’s planning to enhance the rotations by medical students.

The meeting adjourned with a reminder of our upcoming meetings and due dates for slides and finalized lectures.

Marc A. Schuckit, M.D.

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