HMS Responds to the Opioid Crisis with Education

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Harvard Medical School’s dean, George Daley, recently hosted a panel presentation to highlight “the transformative role that education can and should play in solving the opioid crisis.” HMS speakers at the event presented a three-pronged approach taken by the medical school to address the current epidemic of opioid use and abuse which includes educating medical students, health care professionals, and the general public. Other notable invitees spoke about health care policy in our government.

The following is a summary of the event by Dean David Roberts, one of the presenting speakers:

By David Roberts, MD
HMS Dean for External Education
October 13, 2017

On October 3rd, my colleagues Todd Griswold, Bertha Madras, and I joined Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker and HMS dean George Daley to make a presentation on Harvard Medical School’s response to the opioid crisis. The live-streamed event held at the HMS Martin Conference Center was attended by a large in-person audience with an additional remote audience of more than 6,000 viewers.

For my part, I presented on the great work Harvard Medical School teams are doing creating free online learning resources for clinicians, recovery coaches, first responders, and family members who are wrestling with the opioid crisis every day.

Todd, who is responsible for educating HMS students on opioids, described the innovative ways that substance use and pain medication education is being integrated into all four years of our medical students’ curriculum. Of particular note, is a plan for HMS students to graduate with training in the administration of naloxone and buprenorhine as well as in safe prescribing techniques.

Bertha is a member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis alongside Governor Baker and other national leaders. They each spoke to the policies being created on state and national levels to address the opioid crisis.

To view a recording of the event on YouTube, you may click on the following link: HMS Responds with Education/The Opioid Crises

Whether you are a health care professional or a member of the general public affected by the current opioid epidemic, we hope you will take the opportunity to check out the free online resources that Harvard Medical School has created, and we welcome your feedback and comments!

For Health Care Professionals

The Opioid Use Disorder Education Program (OUDEP) is an accredited, free, online medical education program for nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians and other health care professionals collaborating to treat patients with substance use disorder.

For the Public

HarvardX: The Opioid Crisis in America is designed for nonclinicians. This free online course provides critical information on the nature of addiction, pain management without opioids, harm reduction, and evidence-based treatment alternatives.

For Everyone

Breaking the Cycle is a free weekly e-letter with news, HMS faculty insights and personal stories on addiction, recovery, treatment options and more.

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