A collaborative approach to teaching medical students how to screen, intervene, and treat substance use disorders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Few medical schools require a stand-alone course to develop knowledge and skills relevant to substance use disorders (SUDs). The authors successfully initiated a new course for second-year medical students that used screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) as the course foundation. The 15-hour course (39 faculty teaching hours) arose from collaboration between faculty in Departments of Medicine and Psychiatry and included 5 hours of direct patient interaction during clinical demonstrations and in small-group skills development. Pre-and post-exam results suggest that the course had a significant impact on knowledge about SUDs. The authors experience demonstrates that collaboration between 2 clinical departments can produce a successful second-year medical student course based in SBIRT principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-291
Number of pages6
JournalSubstance Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012



  • Knowledge assessment
  • and referral to treatment (SBIRT)
  • brief intervention
  • medical school curricula
  • screening
  • skills training
  • substance use disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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