AAPA Survey Underscores Importance of MAT Training

Physician Assistant Education Association (04/29/20) Lopes, John

An American Academy of Physician Assistants survey on practicing physician assistants (PAs) who care for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD) highlights the value of online medication-assisted treatment (MAT) training during the COVID-19 pandemic, writes John Lopes, DHSc, PA-C, with the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). The poll found that 8% of respondents held a Drug Enforcement Administration MAT waiver to prescribe MAT; 66% of respondents with an MAT waiver prescribed MAT in the previous six months; and 60% of waiver holders are currently accepting patients for MAT. A lack of training and confidence in managing OUD are key obstacles to securing a waiver. Lopes says associations can address this by engaging students in high-value online education in OUD/substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. "PAEA will continue to advocate with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for expanded clinical training sites where students can employ their MAT waiver skills with the direction of experienced preceptors," writes Lopes, who directs the initiative.

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