AMERSA People & Passion, Episode 9: History of AMERSA with Sid Schnoll

Sid Schnoll, one of the founders of AMERSA, discusses with Paula Lum the origin of the organization out of the Career Teacher Program of the early 1970s. The desire by the federal government to cultivate experts in substance use disorders into health professional schools has resulted in a vibrant, growing organization that helps health educators provide cutting-edge information to their students.

Sidney H. Schnoll, M.D., Ph.D.
, is an internationally recognized expert in addiction and pain management who has recently applied his experience of over 30 years in academic medicine to the issues of risk management of controlled substances. Sid was a member of the team that developed the Tramadol Independent Steering Committee (ISC), and he was the principal investigator on the health care professional surveillance project to determine rates of use of tramadol among health professionals. Sid also developed the RADARS® System to study the use and diversion of prescription opioids, which was cited by the FDA as a model risk management program. With over thirty years in academic medicine, Sid has published over 150 research papers, book chapters and educational materials. His areas of research include both addiction and pain management with special emphasis on perinatal addiction and prescription drug use.

Sid Schnoll on 1971 Philadelphia Magazine Cover

Paula J. Lum, MD, MPH
 is an HIV primary care physician, addiction medicine specialist, and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.  Board certified in internal medicine and addiction medicine, her research, clinical, and teaching activities for the last 25 years have focused on evidence-based and patient-centered care to improve the health and wellness of the urban poor.  After attending her first AMERSA conference in 2008, Dr. Lum “felt the love” and knew she had found her professional home.   She enjoyed reviewing abstracts for the conference so much, that she went on to co-chair the Abstract Committee in 2012 and 2013, and to co-chair the Conference Program Committee in 2014 and 2015.  Encouraged by AMERSA colleagues and other giants in the field, she established the first accredited Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program in the University of California.  In 2019, Dr. Lum received AMERSA’s W. Anderson Spickard, Jr. Excellence in Mentorship Award and began her current tenure as President of the AMERSA Board of Directors.  At the Annual National Conference, pestering Sid Schnoll for stories about the Summer of Love has become one of her favorite traditions. 

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