Rotation Director: Paul Glaser, MD, PhD

Length of Rotation: 40.4 weeks, 1 morning per week

Time of Rotation: Second year

Location: Preferred Family Healthcare
5025 Northrup Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 773-3670


To provide fellows with both ABPN-relevant knowledge and clinical exposure to the evaluation and treatment of teens with Substance Use Disorders (SUD) in multiple settings.


To develop competence in the following areas:

Patient Care

The fellow is directly involved in patient care in the context of several settings of the Preferred Family Healthcare Network of Adolescent Substance Use Treatment Centers. The primary setting is the Northrup Unit which is less than one mile from campus. This facility holds up to 12 residential and 40 IOP (Intensive Outpatient) patients. It is staffed with a multi-disciplinary team. The secondary setting includes utilizing telemedicine links to other IOP and residential settings within the Preferred Family Healthcare Network of St. Louis County. Fellows will participate in a variety of ways, including:

  • Assessing patients recently admitted to the residential facility for up to 2-3 months of rehabilitation using patient and family-centered evaluations.
  • Learn how to take thorough substance use histories and ask about more obscure drugs
  • Determine co-morbid psychiatric disorders and assess their contributions or coincidence with drug abuse
  • Assess and continue treatment of patients who are in the IOP portion of the treatment program and are only at the facility 3-4 days a week
  • Appreciate the role of the family in the treatment of the patient and in determining psychiatric medication for the treatment of drug use, withdrawal, or psychiatric co-morbidities
  • Understand the role of individual, group, and milieu therapies in the care of the patient and the various trained professionals that deliver this care
  • Observe and eventually direct group therapy in the residential setting and appreciate its role in improving patient outcomes
  • Practice the skills of Motivational Interviewing in the initial assessment and follow-up appointments for patients
  • Planning dispositions, outpatient care, and ongoing substance use treatment for patients upon completing residential care
  • Observe and understand the role of the 12-step programs such as NA and AA in the patient’s overall care and outpatient follow-up
Medical Knowledge

The fellow will grow in their knowledge with the aid of supervised clinical activities, divisional didactics, and assigned readings from the adolescent substance use literature. The fellow will gain:

  • Understanding of the DSM-5 criteria for Substance Use Disorders and how it relates to the old diagnoses of Substance Abuse and Dependence from the DSM-IV
  • Appreciation of the epidemiology of drug use in teens and rates of certain drugs in high schools
  • Ability to understand the slang words teens invent for certain drugs of abuse
  • Appreciation of the few clinical trials in teen substance use treatment and limitations of their implementation in current clinical settings
  • Knowledge of subjects that are common on ABPN exams
Practice-Based Learning

Various forms of practice-based learning will be incorporated into the supervised clinical activities, readings, and group supervision during this rotation, including:

  • Self-appraisal of one’s own knowledge with regard to epidemiology, causes, neurological mechanisms, and treatments for teen substance use disorders
  • Gaining experience in delivering various evidence-based psychotherapies for substance use disorders, especially learning to contrast paternalistic approaches with motivational interviewing
  • Appreciation of the different substance use problems seen in different socioeconomic populations
  • Understanding the culture of adolescents influences drug use, as well as the influences of legal, ethical, and political forces
  • Encouraging the use of literature searches for evidence-based treatments and how they apply to patient care in our unique settings

The fellow will continue to develop their ability to show compassion and sensitivity to teens and their families as they struggle with substance use issues. They will be able to develop new relationships with other professionals who have dedicated their lives to helping adolescent substance abusers by:

  • Understanding their own, their family’s, and their friends’ issues, struggles, and experiences with substance use in the past and reflecting on how this may give them initial emotional reactions to the patient’s experiences and statements
  • Learning to respond professionally despite the types of initial reactions previously mentioned; not by denying these reactions but by understanding what they are and where they come from and then taking a stance of providing the best care for their patient
  • Demonstrating the ability to function with other professionals with differing roles in the therapeutic settings of residential and outpatient care
  • Completing evaluations and notes in a timely manner
  • Being committed to ongoing professional development
Interpersonal/Communication Skills

The fellow will engage in effective communication not only with patients, but also with families, probation officers, and treatment staff. This communication includes:

  • Learning to speak with teens from various settings in a meaningful way while collecting information for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes
  • Linking via telemedicine in order to evaluate and treat patients at remote locations
  • Gathering information from family members, staff, probation officers, and schools in the context of current HIPAA laws
  • Communicating with attending and staff with regards to days they may be off, sick, or running late due to other responsibilities
  • Presenting cases succinctly and accurately
System-Based Care

The fellow will understand more about system-based care by:

  • Understanding the roles of other providers in adolescent substance use treatment centers, including nurses, therapists, technicians, high school staff, art therapists, music therapists, and administrative and clerical staff
  • Working with therapists, social workers, probation officers, and families in order to establish appropriate disposition on graduating from residential and outpatient rehab programs

Measurement of Objectives

  • Standard program evaluations
  • Multisource feedback
  • Clinical skills examinations