A call for training graduate medical students on harm reduction for people who inject drugs

Subst Abus. 2021 Jun 4;1-3. doi: 10.1080/08897077.2021.1932697. Online ahead of print.


There is a lack of standardized education on topic of harm reduction for graduate medical students. In order to fill this curricular gap, we delivered a two-hour pilot training introducing local community harm reduction organizations and harm reduction ideology and strategies for people who inject drugs to graduate medical students at Boston University. We used pre-post survey design to evaluate attendee demographic characteristics and training efficacy. We matched 29 attendees responses, 69% were first and second year medical students, and found that our training positively reinforced comfort and knowledge surrounding harm reduction ideology, safer injection techniques, and naloxone administration. Delivering trainings covering harm reduction early in graduate medical schools may be beneficial in giving students initial exposure to practical risk mitigation tools they can utilize later in their clinical careers.

Keywords: Harm reduction; medical education; people who inject drugs.

Publication types

  • Letter