Drug and alcohol medical education: evaluation of a national programme

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Abstract

In recognition of inadequacies in drug and alcohol medical education, funds were allocated to all Australian medical schools in 1988 to appoint co‐ordinators to develop and implement drug and alcohol curricula. This programme was broadly modelled on the Career Teacher Programme successfully implemented in North America in the 1970s and early 1980s. During 1989 all but one of Australia's 10 medical schools made drug and alcohol co‐ordinator appointments. Appointees came from diverse backgrounds including general practice, psychiatry, internal medicine, psychology and social work. The present study is a process evaluation and forms the first examination of the programme. Overall, findings indicated the programme to have achieved a 158% increase in drug and alcohol teaching hours, a 383% increase in the number of electives and a 109% increase in student places for elective!. These effects occurred even though the average duration of co‐ordinators’appointments was only 15 months. Implications of these recent developments are discussed in terms of teaching strategies, clinical experience and the inclusion of key educational issues such as early intervention. Recommendations are made for a continuation of the programme and for future outcome evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1041-1048
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Addiction
Volume87
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1992
Externally publishedYes

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