Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are among the world's most pressing public health concerns. Research has shown that while primary care physicians are in a good position to screen for alcohol-use disorders and to aid in treating these problems, they tend to identify only a small percentage of patients with such disorders and they rarely intervene with these persons. This situation is probably attributable to the fact that medical students worldwide are taught very little about alcohol-related problems. Clearly them is an urgent need to educate the world's doctors about preventing, diagnosing, and treating alcohol abuse and addiction. In this paper, the authors describe a model international program for educating physicians about alcohol-related problems that was developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in cooperation with the Center for Addiction Research and Education (CARE) at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. They describe the components of the initiative's 'trainer- development' approach and critical issues in implementing the program in other countries. Finally, they discuss how the program was successfully implemented in Poland and describe the NIAAA's plans for introducing the model in several other countries.
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