ACGME Releases Recommendations and Resources on Preparing Residents and Fellows to Manage Pain and Substance Use Disorder

October 18, 2021

The ACGME is pleased to present new recommendations, findings, and resources from the GME Stakeholder Congress on Preparing Residents and Fellows to Manage Pain and Substance Use Disorder (SUD). The materials are an outcome of the March 30-31, 2021 meeting, which convened 130 physicians and members of ACGME leadership to discuss strategies to ensure residents and fellows are equipped with the skills necessary to treat pain and confront the challenges of the opioid epidemic.

The Congress was held in response to calls from the graduate medical education community for guidance on a 2018 Common Program Requirement requiring all programs to “provide instruction and experience in pain management, if applicable for the specialty, including recognition of the signs of addiction.” The event brought together specialty societies, certifying boards, program directors, and ACGME Review Committee members, representing 10 specialties that play a role in pain management and treating SUD.

“The ACGME is committed to the national effort to address the Opioid Crisis, and to enhance education of physicians in pain management and treatment of substance use disorder. I am grateful for the efforts of the experts we convened from across the medical education continuum to exchange ideas on how to more effectively integrate curriculum and experience in treating pain and substance use disorder into physician education,” said ACGME President and CEO Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP.

Congress deliberations, recommendations, and resources identified by attendees are now summarized in a proceedings paper that includes general and specialty-specific considerations for program directors and others who construct curriculum and educational experiences for residents and fellows.  These considerations are not requirements, rather, they serve as a reflection of the thoughts of attendees, a roadmap for those planning curriculum, and an indication of the medical education community’s support for improving education in management of pain and SUD.

View these materials and other information about the ACGME’s commitment to addressing Opioid Use Disorder here. Congress keynote presentations and panel discussions are available in the ACGME's online learning portal, Learn at ACGME.