Medical Mentoring for Chronic Pain and Addiction

The opioid crisis in Alberta has highlighted both the complexities and the importance of primary care. Family doctors are facing increased pressure  to actively respond to the opioid crisis, which may be uncomfortable or daunting for family physicians.

Just as the family practice is a trusted environment for patients to share their health concerns and seek help, the Collaborative Mentorship Networks (CMN) provides an environment and infrastructure for family physicians to share concerns and seek support in treating patients with chronic pain and addiction, including opioid dependency and prescribing Opioid Agonist Therapies (OATs).

Initiated by the Primary Health Care Opioid Response Initiative, the Collaborative Mentorship Networks (CMN) for Chronic Pain and Addiction connects family physicians with colleagues who have experience and expertise in treating patients with pain and addiction.

Please note this is not a referral service.

Objectives of the CMN for Chronic Pain and Addiction

  • Support family physicians and other healthcare professionals in providing complex clinical care
  • Enhance the quality of complex clinical care
  • Provide practical and relevant complex clinical care continuing professional development (CPD) based on learning needs
  • Increase the number of family physicians and other healthcare professionals who are able to treat complex clinical care patients
  • Provide the means for improving integration among primary and specialty care.

The CMN Pilot

In response to the urgent focus of increasing Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) in family practice CMN is conducting a pilot program that is currently underway.  The immediate goals for mentor/mentee relationships is to increase confidence and capacity in administering and managing patients through OAT.

The pilot project will end in February 2019 to allow for data gathering and modifications before the official launch, however mentoring relationships will be encouraged to continue where the mentoring goals may be expanded.  The official launch of the CMN is anticipated in March 2019.


The CMN is currently recruiting participants for both the pilot program and the official launch. We are looking for:

  • Family physicians who wish to increase their confidence and capacity in identifying and treating patients with pain and addiction, with an immediate focus on administering OAT for patients with Opioid Use Disorder.
  • GPs and specialists with pain management and/or addictions focus who are currently engaged in the opioid response work who would like the opportunity to develop professional relationships, increase their recognition among peers and participate in an initiative that matters.