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University at Buffalo medical school credited for opioid prescription training

The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo was among 60 medical schools nationwide cited by the White House on Tuesday for efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

The schools require students to take some form of prescriber education, in line with the newly released Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

“Long before opioid addiction became a front-page issue, faculty in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences were leaders in developing formal curricula to teach medical students, residents and fellows how to prevent and treat addiction,” Dr. Michael Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the UB medical school, said in a statement.

Those efforts were led in large part by Dr. Richard Blondell, professor of family medicine at UB and vice chair for addiction medicine, who sees patients through UBMD Family Medicine.

“UB was an early adopter in terms of instructing our students on safe prescribing,” Blondell said.

In addition to instructing medical students, Blondell and other physicians in addiction medicine have worked to get the field approved as an established subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties, which occurred earlier this month.

“The approval of this subspecialty creates a pipeline of trained addiction medicine doctors who have undergone rigorous training program and passed rigorous exams, all of which documents that they are, indeed experts in preventing and treating addiction,” Blondell said.