The development of substance-abuse curricular content by five North Carolina schools.
In 1992, the four medical schools in North Carolina and that state's dental school initiated a four-year project to more thoroughly integrate content about substance abuse into their curricula. The project was based on the premise that medical schools are failing to provide their students with adequate training about substance abuse issues, yet substance abuse is a large and growing source of health problems nationwide. While the authors indicate in broad ways the kinds of curricular content that the project sought, in this article they concentrate on the processes by which key faculty, administrators, and staff members from all the schools worked together in the curriculum development process, with each school tailoring the project's findings to the needs of its own students. Phase I of the project focused on the selection and orientation of the key faculty and members of the working committee at each institution, and garnering institutional support. Phase II focused on the development by key faculty of the project's philosophy, goals, and objectives; conducting needs assessment and curriculum analysis at each school; and identifying the content needed. During Phase III, project participants refined the needed content and integrated it, in individual ways, into each school's curriculum. Some (but not enough) evaluation of these curricular implementations was done. The authors highlight the lessons learned, both positive and negative, in hopes that these will be useful to other educators who wish to design, implement, and institutionalize substance-abuse curricular content.
Fang, WL; Applegate, SN; Stein, RM; Lohr, JA
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