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September 30, 2019

The Case for Mandating Buprenorphine Training for Pediatric Resident Physicians

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of New Mexico Department of Pediatrics, Albuquerque
JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(11):1013-1014. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.3208

Opioid overdose is now the leading cause of unintentional injury and death in the United States. But even as the term epidemic has been used in increasing frequency to characterize the problem, as of 2015, only 2.2% of US physicians had obtained waivers to prescribe buprenorphine.1 Perhaps it is no small irony that the clinicians who are most needed to understand and address this national crisis are among the least equipped: pediatricians, who represent just 0.8% of clinicians able to prescribe buprenorphine.1 Addressing this gap in care should be a priority for residency programs, the trainees of which will almost certainly contend with this issue. Given the severity of the opioid crisis nationally, all pediatric residency programs should offer buprenorphine training.

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