Interprofessional Substance Use Disorder Education: Implementation of a Required Program to Improve Knowledge of Entry-level Doctor of Pharmacy and Medicine Students in a Hispanic-serving Institution

Principal Investigator/Project Director

Devada Singh

Colleges / Centers

College of Pharmacy


U.S. DHHS - Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Start Date



There is an urgent need for medical providers to screen, identify and offer high-quality SUD services for thousands of patients in Broward and Palm Beach Counties and Puerto Rico. Broward County, Fl had 1,367 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 during 2015-2017, while Palm Beach County was even higher with 1,521 drug overdose deaths per 100,000. Six hundred fentanyl-related overdoses and 60 deaths were reported in Puerto Rico in 2017. According to SAMHSA, Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) affects 5.69% of Broward County residents and 6.45% of Palm Beach County residents. A recent 2018 study indicates a more severe problem in Puerto Rico, with a lifetime prevalence of AUD among men and women at 38 and 16%, respectively. The 4 main goals of this project are: 1) Train Professional Students on identification/treatment of SUD, 2) Train Healthcare Professional Residents on identification/treatment of SUD, 3) Create sustainability plan to continue SUD curriculum, 4) Implementation of SUD questions on state and national licensing and certification exams. To effectively train Healthcare Professional students and residents at Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) College of Pharmacy and Broward Health Medical Center (BHMC) in South Florida and Puerto Rico, the researchers will provide education and training including the evidenced-based Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) education for patients with SUD (including alcohol, marijuana, stimulants and opioids) via 4 avenues: 1) Fall 2020: novel SUD elective will be implemented for 30 third year pharmacy students at all NSU campuses, 2) Fall 2020: novel SUD 12-week course will be offered at BHMC to train 15 Family Medicine physician residents and 4 Post Graduate Year 1 pharmacy residents, 3) Fall 2021: novel SUD elective will be transitioned into an interprofessional and intercampus core curriculum that 245 pharmacy students and 50 medical students will complete at all NSU campuses, 4) Fall 2021: novel SUD 12-week course will be expanded at BHMC to include an additional 48 Internal medicine physician residents. Following curriculum assessment, researchers will engage members of national and state licensing boards of pharmacy and medicine to implement SUD examination questions on national and state licensing exams and certifications. Researchers will train 30 students and 19 residents in year 1 and 295 students and 67 residents in year 2 for a total of 411 trained healthcare providers within 2 years. Comprehensive documentation and publication of the training program will facilitate replication in various settings aiming to increase care in substance use disorders.

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