For 23 years, IRETA has hosted medical students for the Scaife Medical Student Fellowship in Substance Use Disorders. The program has been held virtually since 2020, due to COVID-19. This year’s program continued online. For three weeks in both June and July, small cohorts of medical and pharmacy students logged in from across the country for an intensive learning experience about substance use, addiction, and addiction treatment.
Throughout the past three years, we have been pleased to include pharmacy students from the Duquesne University School of Pharmacy in the fellowship. This year, we had three pharmacy students as part of the June cohort. Like medical doctors, pharmacists play a unique role in substance use prevention, education, and assistance.
Over the course of the program, cohorts attended virtual talks on a wide variety of topics including:
- Substance use in adolescents
- Brief motivational interviewing
- Personal stories of addiction and recovery
- Special populations and addiction treatment
- Harm reduction strategies
Students were also able to participate in virtual site visits at Pittsburgh-based facilities. Some of the sites they got to see were:
- Pregnancy Recovery Center at Magee Womens Hospital
- Center for Inclusion Health at Allegheny General Hospital
- POWER (Pennsylvania Organization for Women in Early Recovery)
- Salvation Army: Harbor Light
- Gateway Rehab
After completing the program, each student chose a topic related to substance use or its treatment and created a presentation to present to their peers, fellowship faculty, and IRETA staff.
Both sessions of the Scaife fellowship were a success. Next year, we hope to host students through a hybrid curriculum, both virtually and in-person for a portion of the program.
We want to thank the Scaife Family Foundation for their generous support that makes the program possible, as well as all of our fantastic faculty who were willing to adapt to a virtual program.