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Substance Misuse in the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum Project

Reports and papers from the ‘Substance Misuse in the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum Project’ (Phase 1 – 2005-2007). This project was funded by the Department of Health, to work with all UK medical schools to develop consensus guidance on the integration of alcohol, drugs and tobacco training in medical undergraduate curricula. The guidance included key objectives and recommendations on providing high quality training and assessment.

Phase 2 of the project (2008-2011), had the following key aims:

• to support medical schools in integrating and implementing the Substance misuse in the undergraduate medical curriculum guidance into their curricula;
• to promote the development of a self-sustaining network of all English medical schools willing to pursue change in their curricula; and
• to complete and validate the teaching and learning resources (Toolkit) produced to advance the implementation programme.

The second phase of the project focused on implementing the guidance and validating the Toolkit. This was achieved through the funding and appointment of time-limited curriculum coordinators in English medical schools, working with local academic champions, to identify the suitability of the current substance misuse teaching and to recommend and support changes to ensure that substance misuse issues are fully covered in line with national guidance.

A National Steering Group was established to oversee both phases of the project and later aimed to promote further sustainability of the initiative. A National Coordinator convened an Expert Panel to develop the guidance and resources for the implementation work. A network of local academic champions and curriculum coordinators worked with the medical schools to deliver the changes needed to implement curriculum changes as appropriate for each school.

Phase 3, from 2012 onwards, concentrated on developing and extensively revising a set of factsheets, initially written in Phase 2, and which covered substance misuse relevant to a range of clinical conditions, groups of patients, specialities and settings.

St George's Hospital Medical School, London