Conference Call #9

January 11, 2007



Present on the line were Drs. Schuckit, Guschwan, Campbell, Alvanzo, Mack, Bogunovic, Pagano, Neufeld, Bart, Fong, Williams, Gray, Tapert, and Marcy Gregg.

The meeting began with an overview by Marc Schuckit of the agenda for the conference call. These included an update on the progress of the first-year lectures, the progress made in addressing alcohol and drug issues at their universities by first-year scholars, a similar update by second-year scholars, issues related to recruitment for the 2007 class, and a review of the New York meeting.

Regarding the first-year scholars, all scholars have submitted a draft, and Dr. Gavin Bart’s project is close to a final version. The remaining lectures are due to Marc Schuckit by January 15th, if at all possible. The problems with the lectures included a few serious difficulties (e.g., problems with the flow of logic, difficulty focusing on the fact that someone has to be able to give the lecture for you, etc.); some modest problems (e.g., not offering specific data when appropriate and difficulties with clarity regarding a specific item); and a host of minor issues (the need to double space, numbering the pages, avoiding large ranges in figures that are difficult for a student to use and remember, outline issues relating to the need to always have a “2" if there is a “1," the need to round out decimal points to none or one, reference style, etc.).

The first-year scholars then offered their reports. Larry Gray highlighted his accomplishments of gaining a grand rounds slot for his material on ADHD based on his lecture developed through AMSP, and working with course directors to try to help ensure that alcohol and drug issues are included. Gavin Bart discussed his actions at the University of Minnesota that has resulted in his taking over two of the four hours of lectures on alcohol and drugs to medical students, working with Dr. Madras of the White House Office of Drug Abuse during her visit to Minnesota, adding an alcohol and drug elective site for medical students to visit in the Physicians Practice Course, and taking on the advisor role to a medical student. Maria Pagano has recently joined the Resident Education Committee of her department, is working to modify the curriculum related to substance use in her medical school, has met three times with the residency training director, is looking toward increasing the number of lectures on alcohol and drugs, and is planning to sit in on all the existing lectures on substance use disorders to see if she has any suggestions on how to expand the material. The lecture she is developing for AMSP is scheduled to become part of the curriculum in the fall of 2007. Avram Mack plans to begin an elective on alcohol and drugs, is working with the Dean regarding the process of adding material to the curriculum (e.g., the elective), is working with the lecturer giving alcohol and drug issues topics to medical students to see whether material can be altered, and continues to work as Associate Director of Medical School Education for the Department of Psychiatry. Anika Alvanzo is working on four lectures for the second-year medical students course in Behavioral Sciences, delivers one lecture on substances as part of the psychiatric clerkship, has developed a fourth-year elective on alcohol and drugs, is currently working on the Foundations of Medicine course, attempting to get alcohol and drug cases added, and is scanning the existing courses and lectures to see whether additional material is appropriate.

The meeting next turned to a brief review of recent developments for second-year scholars. Jill Williams has taken over as the Director of Addiction Psychiatry and Director of the Addiction Fellowship at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is working with second-year residents regarding incorporating substance use disorder information into their eight one-hour lectures, and is carrying out tobacco training for professionals. Dr. Olivera Bogunovic has recently moved to the McLean Hospital in Boston and is now part of the teaching core for the addiction fellowship. In June, through the Promotion Committee, she will become Assistant Program Director of the Fellowship, and is also working to improve medical school education and psychiatry resident education at her university. Karin Neufeld has recently joined the Admissions Committee for her medical school, is a member of the Education Policy Committee for the Department of Psychiatry, is part of a 10-hour lecture series on substance use disorders (including motivational interviewing) for first-year residents and a four-hour lecture series for first-year medical students (including one new lecture added this year), has recently had a fourth-year medical student assigned to her as part of an elective for eight weeks and hopes to make this elective a more regular occurrence, is working with the treatment community to increase education in comorbid disorders among methadone maintenance treatment providers (related to a recent grant), and has taken her ASPD lecture developed for AMSP and placed it into a paper, which was just recently accepted. Timothy Fong is now involved in an addiction psychiatry subinternship for fourth-year medical students, hosted a holiday dinner for medical students and psychiatric residents involved in alcohol and drug programs, has offered an elective to 20 first-year medical students relating to a wide range of “addictive behaviors,” initiated a police department “ride-along” for fourth-year residents in the addiction medicine clinic, and developed grand rounds for family medicine and hopes to continue to reach out to the family medicine residency program. Nioaka Campbell continues to lecture on substance use disorders for the medical students, serves as an advisor for medical students, her Peer Advocate Liaison program continues to thrive, she assists the department in recruitment of an addiction psychiatrist, was recognized as the 2007 Distinguished Young Physician Alumni for the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, and continues to serve as Director of Residency Training for the USCSOM and as Vice President for the SC Psychiatric Association.

Marc Schuckit briefly reviewed the recruitment for the first-year scholar class to begin in August of 2007. We have currently accepted candidates from the University of Toronto, Michigan State University, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Two additional slots are being held open to identify the optimal additional candidates for AMSP.

The meeting closed with a review by Marc Schuckit regarding the NEW YORK MEETING. The group looks forward to getting together at the New York Athletic Club (all scholars need to be in New York and at the hotel by 5:00 pm on Wednesday, March 28th). At this meeting 10 lectures will be given by the scholars, including full lectures by first-year scholars and presentations ranging from full lectures to modified comments directed to a specific new audience as presented by second-year scholars. We will also have at least one graduate scholar attend the meeting and present a new lecture that she has developed.

Marc A. Schuckit, M.D.

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