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Substance Abuse Training Programs

One major component of the Substance Abuse Program mission is to educate and train future generations of medical scientists and medical scientists/clinicians, who will in turn be able to educate, treat, and carry out the next generation of research in this area. To implement this mission, the Program provides exposure to and experience in the understanding and treatment of the broad spectrum of drug disorders. Activities involve formal teaching by Program faculty and staff, clinical work, primarily at UMATS and in the Ann Arbor Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, and research training for post-doctoral fellows from the United States and Central and Eastern Europe. Current project activity here is primarily in Ukraine.

Formal Research Training and Clinical Training Programs

Rachel Upjohn Building

Two research training grants support this work, one from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (The Multidisciplinary Alcoholism Research Training Program) for postdoctoral fellows and one sponsored by the NIH’s Fogarty international Center, in conjunction with NIAAA and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), that trains early and mid-career scientists and medical doctors from Ukraine.

In addition, the Program runs an ACGME accredited Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program. This program is a one-year, post-residency, clinical training program for psychiatrists seeking specialty training in addiction psychiatry. Formal approval from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education was awarded in 1997, and the Addiction Psychiatry fellowship has ACGME accreditation through 2012. Successful completion of the 1-year clinical track qualifies psychiatrists to apply for subspecialty certification in addiction psychiatry from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Two training slots per year are available in the program.

Teaching Activities

Medical education lecture sequences taught by Program faculty include the M2 Neuroscience Sequence on Substance Abuse, the M3 clinical rotation in addiction medicine, and a number of M4 Electives including Addiction Psychiatry, Health Services Research, and Multiculturalism and Addiction. In addition, Program faculty supervise the PGY I clinical rotation on Addiction Psychiatry and a PGY II rotation on Addiction Training of Family Medicine residents.

Program members also take part in a wide variety of teaching activities across the University. At the undergraduate level, courses include an ongoing research laboratory in psychopathology in the Department of Psychology. This 12-month sequence, run by Drs. Zucker, Blow, and Hicks, enrolls approximately 40 students a year. It exposes students to the spectrum of substance abuse research in the Program, allows them to make more focused career decisions, and also serves as an identifier for post-graduation, permanent research assistant positions for Program research programs. These courses convey some of the allure and challenge of psychiatric content to undergraduates, and have the potential to recruit students on a medical career track into the substance abuse specialty. Although not all participants go on to substance abuse research careers, the program has served a public education function to hundreds of individuals who go on to careers in medicine, public health, law, and other helping professions. Because of the caliber of the student body, many participants can be expected to go on to leadership positions in their fields.

Other Educational Activities

The Program also runs an annual Addiction Psychiatry Resident's Day. This activity, led by Dr. Brower, is attended by psychiatry residents and other substance abuse professionals from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Henry Ford Hospital, and the University of Toledo. In addition, the Center also hosts a day-long, endowed lectureship and workshop in which research updates and evidence-based practice seminars are held. This program, the MacDonell Lectureship, regularly draws more than 100 attendees.

Smaller scale educational activities include monthly Program meetings in which outside speakers, as well as in-house faculty update colleagues on their research. Research seminars are also regularly scheduled to give Program members the opportunity to practice conference presentations and to allow trainees to present potential job talks in front of an engaged and interactive audience.