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Home > Off the record: substance-related disorders in the undergraduate medical curricula in Ireland.

Willson, Mitch and Cullen, Walter and Klimas, Jan (2016) Off the record: substance-related disorders in the undergraduate medical curricula in Ireland. Journal of Substance Use , 21 , (6) .


Background: Substance use disorders (SUDs) are a worldwide problem, and have become a major health concern in Ireland particularly. We aimed to determine the extent to which addiction medicine is embedded in the undergraduate medical curriculum in Ireland.

Methods: To further investigate the degree to which drug addiction is taught in the Irish medical curriculum an online literature search was performed using Google Scholar, PubMed (from 2009 to present), EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and Medline using the keywords “substance-related disorders,” “undergraduate,” “curriculum” and “Ireland.” Additionally, all Irish medical school websites were examined (n = 6), and a Google search and manual searches of conference programs were performed. We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines to systematically review and discuss findings.

Results: A total of zero published studies met the criteria for inclusion in an updated systematic literature search of addiction medicine education in the undergraduate medical curriculum in Ireland. Conclusion: There is currently no documentation of drug addiction teaching sessions in Irish medical schools. Investigations that offer direct contact with medical schools, such as a telephone survey, may provide a more accurate representation of how addiction medicine education is incorporated into the medical school curricula.

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