Integrating Opioid Use Disorder Training in Physician Assistant Education

By: Madeline Morr
Submitted by: Janice Radway, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

At the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) annual meeting, held May 18 to 22, 2019 in Denver, Colorado, research was presented about physician assistant (PA) students and training on opioid-use disorder (OUD). Students in the didactic Behavioral Medicine course at Mercer College of Health Professions in Atlanta, Georgia, participated in a lecture series on OUD that included standardized patients to simulate a realistic presentation of patients with clinical pain complaints and provided screening, diagnosis, and counseling techniques. Students in the clinical course received the same instruction following completion of their core clinical rotation. Faculty observers provided students with feedback on patient interaction, empathy, use of professional medical terminology, opioid risk and benefit assessment, universal monitoring strategies, and including patients in the treatment decision-making process. These students reported improved confidence following the OUD instruction.

Read more about the study at the Clinical Advisor website here.

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