New NAM Special Publication to Help Fight Opioid Crisis

January 11, 2022

As part of its ongoing work with the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Action Collaborative on Countering the US Opioid Epidemic, the ACGME is proud to share a special publication identifying action-oriented priorities to support the goal of an “interprofessional, person- and family-centered approach for the continuum of health professions education to more effectively address the opioid crisis.” The NAM Action Collaborative on Countering the US Opioid Epidemic includes more than 60 participants from several sectors working together to reverse the opioid crisis. 

The NAM Health Professional Education and Training Workgroup, the group responsible for creating the Special Publication and co-led by ACGME Chief Research, Milestone Development, and Evaluation Officer Dr. Eric Holmboe, identified five action-oriented priorities to make substantive and lasting progress to address the opioid crisis: 

  1. Establish minimum core competencies in pain management and substance use disorders (SUDS) for all health care professionals, and support evaluating and tracking of health care professionals’ competence;
  2. Align accreditors’ expectations for interprofessional collaboration in education for pain management and SUDs; 
  3. Foster interprofessional collaboration among licensing and certifying bodies to optimize regulatory approaches and outcomes;
  4. Unleash the capacity for continuing education to meet health professional learners where they are; and,
  5. Collaborate to harmonize practice improvement initiatives.

The special publication aims to address how education and training can more effectively respond to the current urgent and complex opioid crisis. It consists of a comprehensive literature review and a survey of the regulatory landscape to assess and better understand the current health professional education environment.  

Read the full publication on the NAM website, including six chapters discussing the literature review, professional practice gaps, health care providers, and more.