Clinical research mentorship opportunities are available to trainees at several career stages. Mentorship is provided by core faculty members of the Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. For more information, contact us at (804) 828-3793.
Opportunities include summer and other short-term research experiences for medical students with an interest in the neurobiology of addiction. Experiences could feature training in the ethics of human subjects research, hands-on testing of research volunteers, helping researchers develop new testing methodology and immersion in addiction-relevant biomedical literature. Medical students with existing expertise in statistics may have opportunities for analysis of existing data.
Biomedical graduate students
IDAS faculty have appointments with the VCU Graduate School (including the Biomedical Sciences Doctoral Portal) and can provide primary and committee mentoring for the development and execution of dissertation- and thesis-level psychopharmacology and neurobiology projects that could be conducted in our neurobehavioral and MRI testing facilities.
Psychology graduate students
IDAS faculty can provide mentoring for a practicum in applied research in clinical populations, as well as mentoring for the development and execution of dissertation- and thesis-level behavioral and neuroimaging projects that could be conducted in our neurobehavioral and MRI testing facilities.
IDAS faculty can provide mentoring for residents with an interest in addiction psychiatry and the neurobiology of addiction. Mentoring would include experience with interview-based research-grade psychiatric characterization of research volunteers, and neurobehavioral testing and data analysis. Longer-duration electives can feature neuroimaging data collection and analysis, and the design and management of small projects.
Continuing Medical Education Resources for Medical Providers
In response to the opioid epidemic that has swept our nation, VCU declared Substance Abuse, Pain Management and Opioid Management a top ten strategic initiative for its health system. In November 2016, in response to a growing number of fatal overdoses in our Commonwealth, the state health commissioner declared the opioid addiction crisis to be a Public Health Emergency. The Divisions of Substance Abuse Services and Pain Management are working together to combat this problem.
The 2016 General Assembly passed legislation related to opioid prescribing. All licensees of the Board of Medicine with prescriptive authority will need to complete 2 hours of CE in 2017. VCU Health’s Department of Addiction Medicine has put together the following list of CEs which satisfy the 2-hour requirement. Self-attestation of completion will be required with prescribers’ next renewal. Completion of these credits must take place in the 24 months prior to renewal.
You can find resources to satisfy the 2-hour requirement at a number of websites, including:
- Recommended: Virginia Department of Health ARTS Benefit Training is free and offers 2 or more CME credits upon completion. More information available at: https://www.dhp.virginia.gov/misc_docs/VDHAddictionTrainings12202016.pdf
- CDC Train: https://cdc.train.org/DesktopShell.aspx
- Many of these courses (not all) are free. Some provide CME credit. Registration is required.
- This is offered online, provides CME credits, and is free
- https://www.scopeofpain.com/ A course in safe and effective opioid prescribing. It is offered online and has no cost. Registration is required
- American College of Physicians has launched an online recording of a pre-course from the 2016 Internal Medicine Meeting called SAFE Opioid Prescribing: Strategies. Assessment. Fundamentals. Education. No registration fee is required to use this pre-course, which will expire July 15, 2017. https://www.acponline.org/meetings-courses/focused-topics/safe-opioid-prescribing-strategies-assessment-fundamentals-education
- Its completion earns Category 1 CMC credits
- A plethora of online courses that are online, free, and earn Category 1 CME credits can be found at
- The following are sponsors of SAMHSA-supported CME courses on prescribing opioids for chronic pain (courses may require registration): http://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/training-resources/opioid-courses:
- The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) provides a number of CME opportunities for MAT professionals seeking training on prescribing opioids for chronic pain. www.aaap.org/ Many of the above courses provide Category 1 CME credits. None are free of charge.
- The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) sponsors a number of prescribing courses for MAT services providers. ASAM’s education website offers more than 300 hours of CME learning through live and online instruction. www.asam.org/
- About half of the online courses are free. All require registration. All provide Category 1 CME credits
- Prescribe to Prevent at OpioidPrescribing.com http://www.opioidprescribing.com/
- This online course is free and provides Category 1 CME credits.
- In addition, the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network (funded by SAMHSA) has a training and events calendar to help providers stay abreast of future prescription courses. www.attcnetwork.org/
- Some are free and some offer CEUs (for nurses) but do not appear to offer CME credits.
- Of note, The American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM) offers a number of SAMHSA-supported prescribing courses, including a self-study series developed by the Providers’ Clinical Support System for Medication Assisted Treatment (PCSS-MAT) www.aoaam.org/.
- These courses do not appear to offer CME credit, but may be free of charge.