Building and Assessing a National Online Curriculum on "The Clinical Assessment of Substance Use Disorders"

Christof J Daetwyler, M.D., Office of Educational Affairs, Drexel University College of Medicine
Barbara Schindler, MD, Office of Educational Affairs, Drexel University College of Medicine
Dennis Novack, MD, Office of Educational Affairs, Drexel University College of Medicine
Paul Lanken, MD, Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

In 2007, Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM) and the University of Pennsylvania (PENN) became a NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Center of Excellence for Physician Information – with the task to build a national on-line curriculum on Substance Use Disorder issues. It was implied that the design of the curriculum should derive from our successful “doc.com” series: a set of 41 media-rich on-line modules for the teaching and learning of medical communication skills that was jointly produced by DUCOM and the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare (AACH). When the first module on “The Clinical Assessment of Substance Use Disorders” was presented to NIDA in 2009, it made such an impression that NIDA decided to fund a research study on the efficacy of the module with $800,000.- - enough money to set up a careful study for measuring not only the effect of our learning intervention on factual knowledge, but also on attitude change. The study is being conducted jointly by DUCOM and PENN, results will be published in 2012. We propose to present the NIDA module and the research study to the audience and explain the different media formats that the module features - among them the annotated videos (known from “doc.com”) – and the novel “interview-matrix” for giving the disease a human face. Since the NIDA module was created with federal money, it is available for free and without royalties at http://webcampus.drexelmed.edu/nida/