A Skills-Based Curriculum for Teaching Motivational Interviewing-Enhanced Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) to Medical Residents

Date of Review: February, 2019

This resource, from MedEdPORTAL, describes a 4-week curriculum to train senior residents (PGY2 or PGY3) in an internal medicine/primary care training program to screen for and implement brief interventions to address alcohol use disorders using the SBIRT framework. The case packet includes all necessary curricular guides to implement the curriculum, which is moderately time and resource intensive (weekly 3.5 hour sessions for 4 weeks with a suggested faculty: student ratio of 1:2; attendance at a community substance use treatment center; experiential learning in resident clinic; 90-minute ‘booster’ session 2-6 months after the initial session). While time intensive, the curriculum could be implemented into other residency programs with sufficient ambulatory block time and motivated learners; the authors note that the framework for SBIRT is highly applicable to other health behavior changes as well. Faculty must also be motivated or skilled in SBIRT techniques; prior to implementation, faculty facilitators also completed 4-8 hours of training in motivational interviewing skills.  –Brigid Dolan, MD, NCEAS and Katy Wright, PhD, NCEAS

Corresponding Author’s Email:



University of California, San Francisco

Where Was the Curriculum Implemented?

San Francisco, CA

Source of the Curriculum/Resource:


Clinical Specialty:

Emergency Medicine, Family and Community Medicine, Internal Medicine, OBGYN/Womens Health, Psychiatry and Behavioral Science

Outcomes that Have Been Reported for the Curriculum:

Learner satisfaction or reaction

Self-reported learner attitude

Self-reported learner knowledge

Self-reported learner behavior in simulated setting

Outcome and Study Design:

Post Only

Level of Learner Assessment:

Appreciation of content/attitude assessment (self reflection, blogging with rubric)

Demonstration of skill in a controlled environment (OSCE, Simulation)

Demonstration of skill with patients in the clinical or community setting (direct observation, 360 assessment, patient surveys)


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