M in the ORMedical students’ knowledge about alcohol and drug problems: results of the medical council of Canada examination.

PURPOSE: To determine knowledge of a national sample of medical students about substance withdrawal, screening and early intervention, medical and psychiatric complications of addiction, and treatment options.

METHODS: Based on learning objectives developed by medical faculty, twenty-two questions on addictions were included in the 1998 Canadian licensing examination.

RESULTS: The exam was written by 858 medical students. The average score on the addiction questions was 64%.

  • Students showed strong knowledge of the clinical features of medical complications.

Specific knowledge gaps were identified for

  • withdrawal treatment protocols,
  • low-risk drinking guidelines,
  • taking an alcohol history,
  • substance-induced psychiatric disorders, and
  • Alcoholics Anonymous.

CONCLUSION: Medical students are knowledge-deficient around key learning objectives in addictions. The deficiencies were in areas of basic knowledge that could be learnt with little difficulty.

Research report; Kahan M, Midmer D, Wilson L, Borsoi D. Medical students’ knowledge about alcohol and drug problems: results of the medical council of Canada examination. Subst Abus. 2006 Dec;27(4):1-7.

Brief-TSF includes training, as well as other matters, in taking an alcohol inventory and knowledge of Alcoholics Anonymous.