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Integrating addiction medicine training into medical school and residency curricula


The Affordable Care Act (2010) brings an opportunity to increase the integration of addiction treatment into the health-care system. With the anticipated expansion of addiction care services in primary care, challenges, such as workforce training, can be expected. This presentation discusses challenges and opportunities for addiction medicine training of primary care professionals in Ireland, Canada, and Portland, Oregon.


To explore ideas for integrating addiction medicine education into medical school, fellowship, and residency curricula and to consider how implementation barriers can be addressed.


The presentation will outline the setup and content of some of the current addiction medicine education in medical schools and residency programs in Ireland, Canada, and Portland, Oregon. Examples from three educational initiatives will be used to generate ideas applicable to each setting and help overcome integration barriers: the St. Paul’s Hospital Goldcorp Addiction Medicine Fellowship (, the feasibility study on alcohol SBIRT for opioid agonist patients in Ireland (PINTA), and the team-based SBIRT Oregon project ( Scenarios that illustrate implementation strategies, such as educational outreach visits to practitioners—based on overcoming obstacles to change—and facilitators of integrating addiction medicine education into medical school and residency curricula, will be described.


The presentation will conclude with an overview of how initiatives in which the authors have been involved may be used to improve addiction medicine education.


Grants support from the Irish Research Council: Supporting empiric research and capacity building on brief interventions and their delivery in primary care (PINTA-TOUR), and ELEVATE: Irish Research Council International Career Development Fellowship – co-funded by Marie Curie Actions (ELEVATEPD/2014/6).

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Correspondence to Jan Klimas.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Klimas, J., Rieb, L., Bury, G. et al. Integrating addiction medicine training into medical school and residency curricula. Addict Sci Clin Pract 10 (Suppl 1), A28 (2015).

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