“Medical faculties have traditionally eschewed teaching the subject, in part because many physicians viewed addiction as a personal vice rather than a disease.”
Between 1999 and 2014, the number of deaths in the U.S. from prescribed opioids quadrupled. Meanwhile medical students were getting very little training on how to spot patients who are at risk for addiction, or how to treat it. – Matt Lincol/Getty Images/Cultura Exclusive
by Natalie Jacewicz | NPR
“Jonathan Goodman can recall most of the lectures he’s attended at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He can recite detailed instructions given more than a year ago about how to conduct a physical.
“But at the end of his second year, the 27-year-old M.D.-Ph.D. student could not remember any class dedicated to addiction medicine. Then he recalled skipping class months earlier. Reviewing his syllabus, he realized he had missed the sole lecture dedicated to that topic.
“‘I wasn’t tested on it,’ Goodman says, with a note of surprise.
“Americans are overdosing on opioids such as heroin and prescribed painkillers at epidemic rates, and the nation’s doctors appear to be inadequately prepared to help.
“The problem begins in medical school.”