Creating a substance abuse network in family medicine: Lessons learned

A. K. Davis*, A. V. Graham, P. G. Coggan, J. N. Finch, M. F. Fleming, R. L. Brown, R. A. Sherwood, R. Henry, J. Schulz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Family practice was one of several primary care specialties awarded federal contracts in 1985 to survey substance abuse training needs. Family medicine has since excelled in creating a viable substance abuse network. Key events were the sponsorship of a fellowship program, the formation of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) Substance Abuse Working Group, and the working group's pursuit of externally funded projects. Tangible measures of the network's success include collective funding exceeding $7.3 million, an increase in the number of substance abuse activities at annual STFM conferences, and a nearly four-fold growth in the group's membership and collaborative publications. Key factors underlying the vitality of the network that may be generalizable include: 1) initial emphasis on training family physician faculty; 2) making optimal use of the existing administrative channels within STFM; 3) acquisition of external funding; 4) some continuity of core persons working together; 5) active networking within and outside family medicine; and 6) promotion of individual success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-302
Number of pages4
JournalFamily medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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