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Medical schools don’t spend much time teaching students how to recognize and respond to patients suffering from addiction — and that shortcoming is becoming more glaring in light of the opioid crisis.

The big picture: Only about 15 medical schools in the U.S. cover addiction in a comprehensive way that goes beyond opioid-specific education, and there are only 52 fellowships in addiction medicine, according to a New York Times feature on Boston University’s more thorough, integrated program.

  • The field isn’t bigger, in part, because it’s not very lucrative: Insurance already reimburses mental health poorly, and addiction treatment is “an afterthought” even within mental health, per NYT.
  • It also requires unique skills. Medical students need to learn how to delicately ask about the drugs a patient might be taking, without sounding accusatory or minimizing patients’ actual pain.

The bottom line: Trying to fight the opioid epidemic without better medical training is “like trying to fight World War II with only the Coast Guard,” one doctor told NYT.

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Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 20,755,406 — Total deaths: 752,225— Total recoveries: 12,917,934Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 5,246,760 — Total deaths: 167,052 — Total recoveries: 1,774,648 — Total tests: 64,831,306Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Trump says he intends to give RNC speech on White House lawn

President Trump speaking to reporters on South Lawn in July. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump told the New York Post on Thursday that he plans to deliver his Republican National Convention speech from the White House lawn, despite bipartisan criticism of the optics and legality of the location.

Why it matters: Previous presidents avoided blurring staged campaign-style events — like party conventions — with official business of governing on the White House premises, per Politico.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.