Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine proposes to expand substance use training to 400 osteopathic medical students and 16 residents using an Osteopathic Physician Undergraduate and Resident Substance Use Education (PURSUE) Curriculum that includes screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT); substance use assessment; and treatment principles that will increase the number of physicians who can treat substance use disorders.
Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine (RowanSOM), located in Camden County, New Jersey, which has one of the highest overdose death rates in the state, is one of 35 schools of osteopathic medicine in the United States. Physicians who hold a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree are licensed to practice medicine and surgery in all fifty states with the same rights and privileges as allopathic physicians who hold a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree. However, osteopathic medicine lags far behind allopathic medicine with regards to training in substance use disorders. It was only this year, in 2019, that the American Osteopathic Association approved Board Certification in Addiction Medicine. In most osteopathic medical schools students are not trained to prescribe buprenorphine or how to implement SBIRT. In New Jersey, of the 4,597 osteopathic physicians, only 112(2.4%) are waivered to prescribe buprenorphine. Over 40% of RowanSOM graduates practice in New Jersey choosing a primary care specialty such as family medicine. In 2017, the drug overdose death rate in New Jersey increased 29% from the previous year, the largest in the nation, and methamphetamine use is on the rise increasing the probability that physicians will encounter a patient with a substance use disorder. Only 8% of the 449,000 patients with SUDs in New Jersey receive treatment.
RowanSOM proposes a comprehensive Osteopathic Physician Undergraduate and Resident Substance Use Education (PURSUE) Curriculum that includes didactic training, SBIRT role-play, and a clinical experience to increase the number of physicians who can treat substance use disorders and address the treatment gap in New Jersey. The goals and objectives of the project align with RFA requirements and include: 1) convene a curriculum advisory board to oversee content of the new curriculum; 2) develop the curriculum using a prevention framework that includes SBIRT, SUD assessment, and treatment principles; 3) deliver the curriculum to 200 medical students and 8 residents in the first year; 4) collect data that measures changes in student knowledge; 5) analyze results of the curriculum and modify it to improve outcomes; 6) implement the revised curriculum with a new cohort of 200 medical students and 8 residents in year 2; 7) partner with the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners (NBOME) to create 30 questions for the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination (COMLEX); and 8) develop a sustainability plan. Key partners include the President of NBOME and Maryville Addiction Treatment Center who will work with content developers to obtain videos, podcasts, poetry, and artwork from alumni in recovery to help reduce stigma.