Montalto NJ, Ferry LH, Stanhiser T. Tobacco Dependence Curricula in Undergraduate Osteopathic Medical Education. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2004;104(8):317–323. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2004.104.8.317.
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Context: Tobacco use has been identified as the primary preventable cause of premature deaths and disability, yet results of a previous survey show that undergraduate allopathic medical schools do not adequately address this topic.
Objective: To assess the content and extent of tobacco education and intervention skills in osteopathic medical schools' curricula.
Design: A mailed survey with 19 questions similar to one used for allopathic medical schools.
Setting: Nineteen osteopathic medical schools.
Participants: Responses were obtained from each associate dean for medical education or representative.
Main Outcome Measures: Curriculum in seven basic science and six clinical science content areas (elective or required), hours of tobacco use intervention education, and resource materials used to design curricula.
Results: Average number of total content areas covered was 10.2 (6 ± 1.6 basic science areas, 4.17 ± 1.54 clinical areas) with a range of 2 to 13. Nine (47%) schools reported covering all seven basic science areas, and one school reported covering none. Eleven (64.7%) of seventeen schools reported less than 3 hours of training in tobacco dependence treatment techniques during all 4 years. Sixty percent of schools do not require clinical training in smoking cessation techniques. Thirty-six percent require clinical training in an artificial setting without patients. None of the schools require clinical training with live patients. The schools founded after 1920 covered an average of almost twice as many content areas as those founded before 1920 (11.1 vs 6.6; P = .018).
Conclusions: Most US osteopathic medical school graduates are not being adequately educated to treat nicotine dependence as recommended by the National Cancer Institute expert panel and the Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline. Specifically, osteopathic medical education is deficient in clinical nicotine dependence treatment during the third and fourth years.
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