After Request, SIU Dental & Medical Schools Redouble Opioid Education Efforts

Feb 28, 2017

SIU’s School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine are working to incorporate more information about opioid use and abuse into their curriculum.

School of Medicine Chief Medical Officer Doctor Harald Lausen says students already learn a lot in class about the powerful painkillers – but that’s not enough.

“We know that our medical students are going to get some education, but that’s sort of among the other curriculum, which is thousands of thousands of hours that they go through in medical school, and massive amounts of information that they’re trying to take in. So while you can have some focused educational opportunities, it can be diluted because of the sheer volume of information they’re acquiring during their medical school training.”

Lausen says SIU is working to make sure students, residents, and attending physicians are working on opioid protocols daily, to make sure best practices are being carried out.

Dental Medicine Dean Doctor Bruce Rotter says in addition to what’s already being taught, the curriculum can be enhanced through cooperation with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency:

“By including the DEA, it puts a more formalized process in place, so that there’s just a different level of accountability.”

Both schools say they were already putting an increased focus on opioid prescriptions, use, and abuse. They say more formal requirements will be in place soon to go along with Senator Durbin’s request.