Needed: Substance abuse CME

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According to a report called Missed Opportunity: The CASA National Survey of Primary Care Physicians and Patients, there's a screaming need for CME on drug and alcohol abuse CME. A snip:


    Nine out of ten primary care physicians in the United States fail to correctly diagnose alcohol abuse even when their adult patients present classic early symptoms, according to a survey by the Center on Addiction and Drug Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.


    Even more startling perhaps, 41 percent of pediatricians fail to diagnose illegal drug abuse when presented with a classic description of a drug abusing teenage patient.


    The doctors responding to the survey cited lack of adequate training in medical school, residency or continuing medical education courses; skepticism about treatment effectiveness; discomfort discussing substance abuse, time constraints and patient resistance...


    Only a small percentage of physicians consider themselves "very prepared" to diagnose alcoholism (19.9 percent), illegal drug use (16.9 percent) and prescription drug abuse (30.2 percent). In sharp contrast, 82.8 percent feel "very prepared" to identify hypertension; 82.3 percent, diabetes; 44.1 percent, depression.


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