I'm delighted to be able to welcome you to Rx for Change.
It has been well established that tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death, affecting virtually every organ system in the body. Given that clinicians have a proven, positive impact on patients' ability to quit smoking, I strongly believe that tobacco cessation education should be a required component of health professional curricula for all disciplines.
In response to a decades-long gap in the tobacco cessation training of clinicians, development of the Rx for Change: Clinician-Assisted Tobacco Cessation program was championed in 1999 by faculty members at the UCSF School of Pharmacy. This evidence-based program, which is grounded in the principles set forth in the U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guideline for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence, equips health professional students and licensed clinicians with state-of-the-art knowledge and skills for assisting patients with quitting.
Since its inception, Rx for Change has been used to train clinicians throughout the United States and abroad and has been translated into multiple languages. The curriculum is regularly updated, and a variety of versions have also been created to cater to the needs of different health professionals. Recently, the team has added (1) a suite of virtual patients, providing students and opportunity to “practice” cessation counseling in a safe online environment and (2) a series of six standardized patients with corresponding objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) tools that can be used as formative exercises (e.g., with a primary goal of learning) or as a formal tobacco cessation OSCE (e.g., with a primary goal of testing).
With its relevance to all health professional disciplines, the comprehensive and freely shared Rx for Change curriculum is a unique resource for comprehensive, interprofessional approaches to patient care. In this time of cost constraints, it is particularly important that we collaborate effectively and share our expertise and materials, with the common goal of enhancing patient care and improving medical outcomes.
I encourage you to learn more about this valuable resource.
Steven A. Schroeder,
Director, UCSF Smoking Cessation Leadership Center