Dr. Goldsmith Wants to Use Education Experience During Term as President

R. Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD, DLFAPA, FASAM

R. Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD, DLFAPA, FASAM

After serving on ASAM education committees over the last three decades, R. Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD, DLFAPA, FASAM, wants to use that experience during his term as ASAM President to help educate primary care providers and the public about addiction medicine and improve cooperation among health care professionals.

“Getting everybody involved, increasing public awareness, and increasing medical nonspecialist awareness is an important part of what my two years as president is aimed at. I want to focus on interprofessional collaboration as an important goal,” said Dr. Goldsmith, who will become President at the end of the Annual Conference.

“A lot of doctors are not always encouraged and taught to be collaborative with other professionals who have different roles, but who share responsibility for taking care of the same patient. How do we get to know each other, how do we get to know each other’s limitations, how do we get to know all of our strengths? What are the common, simple ways of communicating with each other in a common mission and in the same direction? That kind of coordination is going to be important,” he said.

Dr. Goldsmith worked with traumatic brain injury PTSD patients in residential and outpatient status at the VA Post-Traumatic Stress Clinic for four years and is now working in the Buprenorphine Treatment Clinic in Cincinnati. He joined ASAM in 1984 and immediately became part of the Continuing Medical Education Committee, eventually serving as its chair for nine years. He has served as co-chair of the Medical Education Council and was the expert liaison for ASAM in the development of an online education course about SBIRT.

In his two years as President-Elect, he has been learning more about other facets of the Society and chairing a task force that presented a new three-year strategic plan to the ASAM Board of Directors last summer.

Still, Dr. Goldsmith sees educating primary care professionals—part of the new strategic plan—as a key role for ASAM, in formats such as the Fundamentals Pre-Conference Course and by ASAM collaborating with other medical societies.

“ASAM has over 3,200 members, but there are tens of thousands of professionals in primary care, and if we can activate them, it will improve what we are doing,” Dr. Goldsmith said. “We are not in this alone. It is not us against them. We are trying to use that interdependence in a way that makes us stronger and more effective in our caring.”

There also are many other issues on the Society’s agenda for the next two years, Dr. Goldsmith said:

  • Improving the quality of care for patients being treated for substance abuse. The ASAM Board of Directors has approved new standards of care for addiction medicine, and those standards can become broadly accepted.
  • Establishing basic clinical care measures that can be implemented by ASAM and other national organizations.
  • Reducing the barriers to addiction treatment identified by the Patient Advocacy Task Force.
  • Advancing the recognition of addiction medicine as a subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
  • Working with Congress and state legislatures on addiction care issues, such as removing barriers to buprenorphine or methadone treatments, or developing favorable public health details as states decriminalize or legalize medical marijuana.

“I am excited about the next two years,” Dr. Goldsmith said. “The adventure is getting to meet all the people I have not met before who are aware of what is going on but don’t know what the next step is. If ASAM can be there to say, ‘Here is the next step and we can help you take it,’ it will be helpful and strengthen the national health care team to work on a joint mission where we all are doing our parts to take care of this complicated situation with addiction.”