Design and Implementation of a Curriculum for Emergency Medicine Residents to Address Medications and Treatment Referral for Opioid Use Disorder

Academic Article


  • Background: Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) are recognized as successful treatments for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). The Emergency Department is well situated to initiate MOUD and begin the referral process. Unfortunately, uptake of this practice among Emergency Medicine (EM) physicians has been slow. EM physicians may feel inadequately prepared to provide MOUD and addiction referral services due to lack of previous training and experience. The goal of this pilot study was to create, implement, and evaluate an OUD management curriculum for EM residents and measure impact on knowledge, practice, and empathy. Methods: A 4.5-hour curriculum was developed, incorporating the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment mission statement as well as the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Emergency Medicine resident physician milestones. The curriculum was inserted into an existing EM residency didactic block at an urban, tertiary care, residency program. Surveys were obtained pre- and post-intervention. Results: Post curriculum surveys demonstrated improved knowledge of buprenorphine/naloxone including indications, clinical effects and side-effects (p < 0.05). Surveys also noted increased comfort prescribing buprenorphine/naloxone for opioid withdrawal and misuse and instructing patients on home induction (p < 0.05). Additionally, residents responded positively regarding the impact of the curriculum on their understanding of the topic and their subsequent confidence in managing patients with OUD in the ED setting. Conclusion: A dedicated brief MOUD and referral curriculum can be effectively integrated into EM resident education to provide valuable clinical knowledge that may affect clinical practice.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Walter LA; Hess J; Brown M; DeLaney M; Paddock C; Hess EP
  • Start Page

  • 458
  • End Page

  • 463
  • Volume

  • 56
  • Issue

  • 4