Medicine Responds to Addiction II

white-house-thumbnailOn Tuesday, October 25, representatives from the OME community participated in Medicine Responds to Addiction II Symposium hosted by the White House Office of National Office of Drug Control Policy.

The Symposium provided a platform for federal officials and leaders from medical schools, residency, and fellowship programs to discuss challenges and best practice models in addiction medicine education and training. Leaders offering perspectives from the OME community included: 

  • Clinton Adams, DO, President and CEO, Rocky Vista University
  • Paula Crone, DO, Dean, Western University of Health Sciences/College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and COMP-Northwest
  • Jan Willcox, DO, Dean, Edward Via School of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia Campus
  • Kelly Thibert, DO, National President, American Medical Student Association

Watch the Symposium on the White House YouTube Channel and read more in Washington Insider.

Emphasis on Medical Education

President Obama announced in March 2016 that more than 60 medical schools—including a number of U.S. colleges of osteopathic medicine (COMs)—agreed to make pain relief a major part of their curriculum, to escalate the fight against the prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic. In light of this effort, COM leaders participated in and provided insights about the shared mission to advance addiction medicine education and training during the Symposium. 

The Learning Environment

Dr. Adams spoke about the health science university’s role in advancing addiction medicine. He underscored how “undergraduate health science universities across the country are finding themselves in an opportunistic environment to address the many challenges facing the health care delivery system—issues such as quality, safety, team-based practice, and the rapid expansion of scientific knowledge.” Watch Dr. Adam’s presentation to learn more. 

Osteopathic Approach to Addiction Medicine

Dr. Crone talked about the pivotal role osteopathic physicians and education will play in battling opioid abuse during the Symposium, emphasizing that, “Addiction medicine should not be a footnote in our students’ education, but should be integrated throughout … ultimately enabling them to be better equipped to provide the substance abuse services needed as they enter practice.” She went on to explain:

Substance abuse disorders are most often treated on the front lines by primary care providers, and osteopathic physicians are vital members of this workforce. The osteopathic physician workforce brings a holistic care approach that emphasizes the whole person in the context of family and community. This allows DOs to be positioned in the primary care workforce in underserved communities and play a significant role in the future to this problem.

“I strongly believe education of our future workforce is one of the crucial keys to the solution for this staggering problem,” Dr. Crone said. 

Jan Willcox, DO speaking at the White House on Addiction Medicine
Watch White House Live: Medicine Responds to Addiction II.