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    News Release - Helping medical students better address the Opioid Crisis

    Thursday, January 21, 2021

    KINGSTON, ONTARIO Today, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) released a series of online educational modules for medical students across the country. This will help close gaps in current educational offerings and ensure future physicians are better prepared to address pain management and addiction medicine.

    The new curriculum was created by a multidisciplinary team of subject-matter experts and stakeholders from medical schools across the country. Queen’s University played a major role in this initiative, as both consultant and contractor. A team in the Faculty of Health Sciences worked with the AFMC to create a proposal for the project, build a platform for delivery, develop pilot modules and collect user feedback.

    Supported with a financial contribution from Health Canada, the curriculum is in response to the surge of overdoses and opioid-related deaths in Canada. The situation is current being categorized as a national public health crisis. According to the Government of Canada Health Website,  Since 2016, there have been more than 16,000 apparent opioid-related deaths, and approximately 11 lives are lost each day because of opioid overdoses.

    The online modules will train physicians to work with patients to manage pain; educate patients to safely store and dispose of opioids; openly communicate the possible side effects of opioids; support the care of persons living with opioid use disorder and assess the patient's profile and adjust the prescription accordingly.


    “We are very proud to have spent the last two years working alongside the AFMC. The modules, which are completely bilingual, will serve as a great resource for medical students across the country. I also want to recognize those involved in developing the online BHSc and the Elentra platform here at Queen’s. Our ability to deliver on these modules was based in previous expertise working on these projects.” Dr. Richard van Wylick, Associate Dean, Professional Development.

    The AFMC is grateful for the support of the Government of Canada and our contributing partners. This new curriculum will be implemented across all medical schools in Canada and ensure that future physicians are better prepared to address the opioid crisis.” Dr. Geneviève Moineau, President and CEO of AFMC

    This new curriculum is a step in the right direction and will help future physicians better inform and educate patients on the proper management of opioids.  It may also draw interest and attention to the complex world of chronic pain management.” Camille Fauteux, Patient collaborator



    Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada


    Media Contacts

    Jen Valberg

    Director, Marketing & Communications

    Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University




    Annie Barrette

    Manager, Government and Media Relations

    The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada





    Related Experts

    • Van Wylick, Richard