Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

NOFAS Designs Medical School Curriculum on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

NOFAS Designs Medical School Curriculum on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Article excerpt

A growing number of medical schools in the United States will be teaching their students about one of the leading known preventable causes of mental retardation--Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The curriculum was developed and piloted by the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) and is the first medical school curriculum to focus solely on FAS.

Portions of the course work have been permanently incorporated into the Department of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico, making it required couse work for all second year medical students. It has begun its second year at Georgetown University, and has been accepted at Northwestern University Medical School and Tulane Medical School for 1995-96.

The curriculum seeks to accomplish three objectives:

* Provide medical students with the core skills and knowledge they will need to educate and counsel their colleagues and patients about the risk of FAS, as well as how to diagnose it;

* Use the bio/psycho/social model of disease to encourage students to think about all of the various dimensions of disease and the ways in which they as health care professionals can best address them;

* Insure that the vital issues surrounding FAS are being confronted by a broad and influential audience of young health care professionals. …

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