Dr. Sarah Tully Marks Recaps Her Year as the Bell Addiction Medicine Scholar

Since being selected as the University of Kentucky’s first Bell Addiction Medicine Scholar, Sarah Tully Marks, MD, has been hard at work creating additional educational opportunities for residents in the department of family and community medicine.

In early April, she piloted the first section of a new curriculum aimed at developing residents’ skills, knowledge, and understanding so they can more comprehensively treat future patients with substance use disorders. This curriculum includes problem-based learning and case-generating treatment plans, followed by clinical skills practice and a role-playing exercise for discussing implicit and explicit biases.

These patient experiences were partly based on patients Dr. Marks met during inpatient and outpatient clinical experiences through her opportunity as the Bell Scholar. Dr. Marks has seen patients with the Addiction Consult and Education Service (ACES) at both Chandler and Good Samaritan Hospitals. She has learned to identify substance use disorder in patients during their most vulnerable times and to encourage the initiation and continuation of treatment. She also has shadowed clinicians in the First Bridge Clinic, meeting patients in long-term remission and recovery and attending peer support group meetings.

“I am looking forward to additional experiences in both of these settings as well as others working toward longer-term goals of offering this care in the Family Medicine Clinic,” Dr. Marks said.

As her role wraps up in September, Marks will continue to work on developing an addiction medicine curriculum within the residency program and seek out patient care experiences to better learn about treatment of substance use disorder so she can assist her own department moving toward providing this care.

Her longer-term goals are to develop a standardized patient encounter for residents focusing on development of motivational interviewing skills with patients with substance use disorders and to provide care in the family medicine clinic.

Dr. Marks, an alumna of the UK College of Medicine, is an assistant professor and associate residency program director in the department of family and community medicine. Throughout her academic and medical careers, she has dedicated her efforts to ensure medical student and resident success. She has been recognized with numerous awards for her exceptional mentorship.

Her work at UK focuses on residency education and curriculum design. Her clinical interests include LGBTQ* health, women’s health, substance use, and obstetrics.