A new training program at the Medical College of Georgia will help train addiction medicine physicians to prevent, treat and manage the devastating and costly problems of substance use and addiction.
The new addiction medicine postgraduate fellowship, one of nine new programs approved by the American Board of Addiction Medicine this year and the first of its kind for MCG, will be a one-year full- or two-year half-time program. It will offer clinical and research training in the evaluation and treatment of addictive diseases to physicians who are already board eligible or board certified in other medical specialties, explains Dr. William Jacobs, MCG’s chief of addiction medicine.
Alcohol, tobacco and drug use disorders affect 40 million Americans – more than heart conditions, diabetes or cancer – and cost society $559 billion each year. Yet, only one in 10 of those people receive any form of treatment, according to ABAM. “Of those who do receive treatment, few receive chronic, evidence-based care, which we know is most effective,” Jacobs says.
Unintentional drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, having surpassed motor vehicle accident fatalities just a few years ago.
Adding to the problem, studies have shown that many primary care physicians do not feel competent diagnosing or treating alcohol and drug use disorders, primarily due to lack of training according to Jacobs. “Increasing the number of qualified addiction medicine specialists is paramount to reducing the addiction treatment gap, elevating the quality of addiction care available and working toward reducing stigma,” he says.
In Augusta, the existing private/public partnership between MCG and RiverMend Health will offer unique training opportunities – at Georgia Regents Medical Center, a major tertiary care teaching hospital, MCG’s Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior and at state-of-the-art freestanding treatment facilities like Bluff Plantation and Georgia Detox and Recovery Centers. Fellows will be exposed to all levels of care, including inpatient hospital, outpatient detox, residential and outpatient treatment programs, emergency room, forensic evaluations and consults and will be mentored by experts in addiction medicine.
The fellowship will initially be open to one applicant each year, expanding as funding allows. For more information and details on how to apply, contact Tina Hall in the MCG Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Bluff Plantation:
Spanning 178 lush acres on the Savannah River in the heart of Augusta, Georgia, Bluff Plantation, part of RiverMend Health and affiliated with the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, is one of the most comprehensive, scientifically-driven addiction treatment centers in the United States. Our team of renowned addiction medicine physicians and clinicians deliver multidisciplinary addiction treatment and rehabilitation therapies in a secluded, five star residential setting. Bluff Plantation has assembled the world’s preeminent experts in pain and addiction medicine, led by medical director William S. Jacobs, M.D., a nationally recognized expert triple board certified in addiction medicine, anesthesiology and pain medicine.
For more information about Bluff Plantation’s addiction services, please visit http://www.bluffplantation.com.
Jennifer Hilliard Scott
Senior Communications Coordinator
Medical College of Georgia