Resident physicians are the direct care providers for many patients with addiction. This study assesses residents’ self-perceived preparedness to diagnose and treat addiction, measures residents’ perceptions of the quality of addictions instruction, and evaluates basic knowledge of addiction.
A survey was e-mailed to 184 internal medicine residents at Massachusetts General Hospital in May, 2012.
Responses were obtained from 55% of residents. Residents estimated that 26% of inpatients they cared for met criteria for a SUD. 25% of residents felt unprepared to diagnose and 62% felt unprepared to treat addiction. Only 13% felt very prepared to diagnose addiction. No residents felt very prepared to treat addiction. Preparedness to diagnose or treat addiction did not differ significantly across PGY level. 55% rated the overall instruction in addictions as poor or fair. 72% of residents rated the quality of addictions training as poor or fair in the outpatient clinical setting, and 56% in the inpatient setting. No resident answered all six knowledge questions correctly. Slightly more than half correctly identified the mechanism of buprenorphine and 19% correctly answered a question about naltrexone. 9% of residents responded that someone had expressed concern about the respondent's substance use.