Buprenorphine training absent from many family medicine residencies, study finds

Few family medicine residency programs offer buprenorphine training, which could hinder pregnant women's access to treatment, according to a study published in Annals of Family Medicine.

For the study, researchers analyzed the responses of 5,103 residents who took the American Board of Family Medicine's annual graduate survey in 2016, 2017 or 2018.

Only 5.1 percent of respondents said they provide maternity care and prescribe buprenorphine, a medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.

Fifteen of the 614 family medicine residency programs represented in the survey were responsible for training one-fourth of all physicians who prescribe buprenorphine to pregnant women. These residencies are mostly located in urban areas on the East and West Coasts.

"Innovative solutions for improving access to this particularly vulnerable patient population should focus on incentivizing integration of buprenorphine training into more family medicine and OB/GYN residency programs, especially those found in rural areas of the United States," researchers concluded.

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