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Evaluation of a student clinical research education program in addiction medicine

Objective: To evaluate an experiential student clinical addiction research program by analyzing its components, evaluation survey data, and scientific outputs.

In 1995, we established a summer research program supporting trainees to gain exposure to clinical addiction research careers. This curriculum employed a three-pronged approach that combined mentored research training, didactic education, and clinical observerships for medical students and other trainees to acquire experience with addiction medicine and research.

Between 2007 and 2019, 56 trainees and 26 faculty mentors participated in the curriculum. To date, 25 students published 38 papers with their faculty mentor. Analysis of the past 12 years of program evaluation data demonstrated that students highly valued individually-mentored research experiences. They indicated that seminars familiarized them with the foundations of different clinical care models and career trajectories in addiction medicine. Clinical observerships provided students with patient contacts in various multidisciplinary addiction treatment settings. These experiences, perhaps most importantly hearing about patients’ lived experiences, meaningfully informed various research and didactic activities.

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