- A major barrier to actualizing the public health impact potential of screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) is the suboptimal development and implementation of evidence-based training curricula for healthcare providers. As part of a federal grant to develop and implement SBIRT training in medical residency programs, the authors assessed 95 internal medicine residents before they received SBIRT training to identify self-reported characteristics and behaviors that would inform curriculum development. Residents' confidence in their SBIRT skills significantly predicted SBIRT practice. Lack of experience dealing with alcohol or drug problems and discomfort in dealing with these issues were significantly associated with low confidence. To target these barriers, the authors revised their SBIRT curriculum to increase residents' confidence in their skills and developed an innovative SBIRT Proficiency Checklist and Feedback Protocol for skills practice observations. Qualitative feedback suggests that, despite the discomfort residents experience in being observed, a proficiency checklist and feedback protocol appear to boost learner confidence.