Didactics and Career Development

Our didactic curriculum covers a broad range of topics and is designed to provide fellows with the knowledge and skills to enhance their clinical practices as well as prepare them for leadership roles in the field of addiction psychiatry. Didactic courses are integrated with clinical rotations. 

The addiction psychiatry curriculum includes the following topics: 

Screening, Assessment, and Diagnosis of Addictions
Psychosocial and Behavioral Interventions for SUDs 
Epidemiology and Genetics of Addictions
Chronic Pain and Addiction
Neurobiology of Addictions 
Family Dynamics and Interventions
Developmental Factors in Risk for Addictions
Socioenvironmental Aspects of Substance Use Disorders
Impact of Addictions on the Developing Brain
Religion, Spirituality and Addiction
Brain Imaging and Addiction
Adolescent Substance Use Disorders
Dual Diagnosis Treatment Approaches
Co-Occurring Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders
Pharmacotherapy of SUDs and other Addictions
Hepatitis C Virus, HIV and Substance Use Disorders
Motivational Interviewing 
Legal and Ethical Issues in the Management of Addictions   

In addition to didactic courses, abundant opportunities for career development and advanced learning are available.  Fellows are encouraged to participate in our Department’s weekly Career and Research Development (CARD) seminars which provide exposure to research and assistance with grant-writing, dissemination of results, and career development. 

The Department of Psychiatry and its academic partners also sponsor a wide variety of seminars and lecture series on campus, including the Department of Psychiatry Lecture Series, the UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital Resident Grand Rounds, the UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital Journal Club, and the Brown Bag Seminar Series hosted by the VA Mental Illness Research Education Clinical Centers of Excellence (MIRECC).

Other Opportunities

Substantial opportunities are available to fellows in our Addiction Medicine Clinical Fellowship. Fellows interested in quality improvement projects and research have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with nationally-recognized leaders in research and clinical care. Our clinical investigators work with basic scientists, public health policy researchers, and others on projects to address all aspects of substance use disorders including prevention, diagnostic approaches, and evidence-based pharmacological and psychosocial treatments. Our Department’s Annual Research Day also provides a forum for fellows to present their research findings and network with members of the academic community.