Medical Education Core Competencies for the Prevention and Management of Prescription Drug Misuse and Suggested Education Modules

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To All Prescribers, 

The current opioid epidemic represents one of the greatest public health crises our state and the nation has faced in recent memory. It will take a variety of aggressive and ongoing efforts to change its course. To be successful, we must fully engage partners from all sectors across the Commonwealth, including our prescribers. 

Educating health care professionals  – present and future – is one step toward redefining the practices of treating pain and substance use disorder. The urgency of this public health crisis demands that we collectively respond both quickly and decisively, ensuring that our practices truly reflect current scientific understanding of this life threatening disease.

To this end, The Massachusetts Medical Education Working Group – a first-in-the-nation public/private partnership between the Commonwealth’s four medical schools, the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health – has defined and adopted cross-institutional core competencies for the prevention and management of prescription drug misuse. In support of this work, all medical, dental, advance practice nursing, and physician assistant programs within Massachusetts have adapted and adopted these core competencies. These professions – in partnership with the state and their professional associations - are ensuring that the Commonwealth’s more than 8,200 future prescribers currently enrolled within these programs receive the training and competency assessment necessary to support the prevention and management of prescription drug misuse. As prescribers, we have a collective responsibility to ensure these competencies are fully integrated within our learning and practice. To facilitate this task, the following free and readily available education modules have been specifically identified to meet these competencies. We encourage you to adopt the 10 core competencies and complete these modules– or your own program adaptations – to both strengthen your practice and help lead Massachusetts’ in its efforts to prevent and treat substance use disorders. All prescribers in the Commonwealth are encouraged to utilize these education modules to ensure their practices reflect current laws and practices. Your ongoing efforts to meet the ever-changing challenges of this current epidemic are critical. On behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Medical Society, we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation. 

Monica Bharel, MD, MPH
Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Henry L. Dorkin, MD
President, Massachusetts Medical Society
   


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We are grateful to Boston Medical Center for their collaboration in developing this compilation of education modules.

We would like to acknowledge and thank these institutions and professional associations who participated in the development of the core competencies for the prevention and management of prescription drug misuse. They have all adopted the core competencies and we are appreciative of their efforts to ensure our next generation of health professionals is prepared to meet these challenges.



Getting Started…

All of the modules and webinars are free, but it is necessary to register on each of the sites to gain access to the suggested material. Once you have registered, it is simple to navigate in and out of the sites as you complete each competency.  Within each learning domain there are corresponding competencies with a suggested module or webinar.  Some competencies have more than one choice of module, so you may choose the one best suited to your learning needs. An approximate time is given to complete each module and all of the modules can be completed in 12 hours or less. The section titled “Evidence Based Methodologies” should also be reviewed since many of these tools are discussed in the education modules, and a working knowledge of them is expected.




Access the individual competencies and suggested education modules by clicking below...


CORE COMPETENCIES

PRIMARY PREVENTION DOMAIN
PREVENTING PRESCRIPTION DRUG MISUSE:
SCREENING, EVALUATION AND PREVENTION
Competencies 1-3 

SECONDARY PREVENTION DOMAIN
TREATING PATIENTS AT RISK FOR SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER
Competencies 4-6   

TERTIARY PREVENTION DOMAIN
MANAGING SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS AS A CHRONIC DISEASE: ELIMINATE STIGMA AND BUILD AWARENESS OF SOCIAL DETERMINANTS
Competencies 7-10   

RECOMMENDED EVIDENCE BASED METHODOLOGIES FOR THE MANAGEMENT AND PREVENTION OF PRESCRIPTION DRUG MISUSE   

RESOURCES AND ADDITIONAL EDUCATION

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