The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the Physician in Residence (PIR) program at the Hazelden Residential Program of New York City as a substance abuse training approach using standardized patients (SP) and self-report ratings. Using an objective rating scale, two experienced drug counselors evaluated four videotaped interviews carried out by housestaff pre- and post-enrollment in the PIR program. In addition, housestaff completed self-report ratings regarding their knowledge, attitudes, and skills of substance abuse. Of the 23 housestaff who completed both pre- and post-PIR program videotape sessions, significant improvements were noted in both observer and self-reported ratings. Overall, self-report ratings showed a greater percent improvement than the counselor ratings. The PIR program may be an efficacious approach to teach substance abuse clinical skills to housestaff.