Other Activities:

  • statewide multidisciplinary conferences on current issues;

  • drug abuse curriculum development in the four medical schools and one dental school in North Carolina;

  • basic skills track for clinicians at the North Carolina School for Alcohol and Drug Studies;

  • survey of regulatory problems involved in prescription drug misuse, abuse, and diversion;

  • inventory of nursing education on drug abuse;

  • development of a database and linkages with other drug abuse databases; and

  • furnishing speakers for AHEC programs.

    SOURCE: North Carolina Governor's Institute (1996b,c,d).

The committee recommends that:

  • Accreditation and certifying entities [e.g., Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), American Psychological Association (APA)] should review curricula in medical schools and in psychology, social work, and nursing departments for the adequacy of drug addiction courses and should require basic competence in these areas for certification and recertification on medical specialty board examinations and in other relevant disciplines;

  • Deans, administrators, and professional societies should undertake systematic evaluation of existing curricula to assess how they encourage or discourage training in addiction research and develop curricula tailored to different levels of schooling and specialty. Incentives should be provided to recruit and train faculty to teach courses in addiction research and to serve as role models.

THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORS

Exposure to course work and clinical experiences in the area of addiction is a potentially important way to generate students' interest in addiction research careers. In addition, as in all areas of medicine, some investigators are motivated by personal reasons, such as having family members or friends with drug abuse or addiction problems. However, most of the new investigators who attended the committee's workshop highlighted the importance of their mentors and role models in their career decisions.

The lack of courses in addiction starts a cycle of shortages at every stage of the pipeline for professionals in the field of addiction research: fewer undergraduates



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