Academic Psychiatry

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 304–308 | Cite as

A Focused Addiction Curriculum and Its Impact on Student Knowledge, Attitudes, and Confidence in the Treatment of Patients with Substance Use

  • Robert J. Feeley
  • David T. Moore
  • Kirsten Wilkins
  • Brian Fuehrlein
In Brief Report



Assessment of attitudes towards addiction in medical students has largely gone unexplored. This study examines the impact of a supplemental substance use disorder curriculum in the psychiatry clerkship on medical student attitudes towards addiction.


The curriculum was only administered to students at one clerkship site. Subsequently, medical students were surveyed across all sites regarding their attitudes towards addiction.


The survey response rate was 37.5% (N = 75/200), with 25 (33%) completing the supplemental addiction curriculum. In bivariate analysis, medical students receiving the curriculum were more likely to express confidence in managing patients with alcohol and opiate use disorders (T = 2.01, p = 0.05) and were more knowledgeable about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a treatment option available to patients (T = 2.27, p = 0.03).


A supplemental addiction curriculum can improve medical student confidence in managing substance-using patients as well as improve knowledge of AA.


Addiction Curriculum Attitudes Medical student 



We appreciate the assistance of Dr. Beth Grunschel, addiction psychiatrist, in selecting a medical student to be the recipient of a prize following participation in an online survey.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The Human Subjects Committee at Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, reviewed and provided exemption for this study. The online survey used in this study was completed anonymously and results were not viewed until the end of the. Survey questions had no questions that could identify any particular individual based on his or her responses. The selection of a medical student for a prize (given out to those who participated in the study) was conducted by someone not involved in the study design or analysis.

Ethical Considerations

In addition to the above information contained in “compliance with ethical standards,” a written consent was stated in the body of the email that contained the survey link that was emailed to medical students. They were informed by way of this written consent that their completion of the survey constituted their consent to participate.


On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Funding Sources

There was no funding for this study. The amazon gift card was paid for by Dr. Brian Fuehrlein.


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Copyright information

© Academic Psychiatry 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert J. Feeley
    • 1
  • David T. Moore
    • 1
  • Kirsten Wilkins
    • 1
  • Brian Fuehrlein
    • 1
  1. 1.Yale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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