Newswise — The American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) and The ABAM Foundation today announced their newly elected Directors and Officers for 2014. All are distinguished physicians from a range of medical specialties. These volunteer Directors lead ABAM in the formal certification of physicians as experts in addiction medicine, establish and accredit physician post-graduate addiction medicine training programs, and advance the quality of medical care for substance use disorders related to alcohol, tobacco and other addicting drugs, including some prescription medications. Patrick G. O’Connor, M.D., M.P.H., FACP, who serves as Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, was named ABAM/ABAM Foundation President. Other Officers for 2014 include: Robert J. Sokol, M.D., FACOG, President-Elect; Jeffrey H. Samet, M.D., M.A., M.P.H., Immediate Past President; Gail D’Onofrio, M.D., M.S., Secretary; and Lon R. Hays, M.D., M.A., DFAPA, Treasurer. (See below for affiliations and complete list of Directors.)
ABAM is an independent medical specialty board established in 2007 to certify addiction medicine physicians from several specialties, including emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, preventive medicine, psychiatry and other specialties.
“ABAM has come a long way since its founding, with thousands of certified physicians, active certification and Maintenance of Certification programs, and training programs at leading medical schools across North America,” said Dr. O’Connor. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on the board in this new capacity to further advance our critical mission of advancing the field of addiction medicine and providing much-needed expertise and care to millions of individuals suffering from addiction.”
The ABAM Foundation has accredited 19 fellowship programs to train physicians in addiction medicine, and plans to establish additional fellowship programs. More than 3,000 physicians have been certified in addiction medicine by ABAM.
Trained addiction medicine physicians have joined other addiction professionals in the interdisciplinary care of patients with addictive disorders. Physician specialists in addiction medicine bring unique skills and competencies to the treatment team, contributing to the care of individuals and families with a multitude of needs, using all appropriate treatment modalities.
“We want addiction prevention, screening, intervention and treatment to become routine aspects of medical care wherever health care is provided and to be available for all who need it,” said Dr. O’Connor.
Currently, relatively few physicians screen, intervene or refer, because they have not been sufficiently educated about addiction medicine in medical school, nor trained in residencies. Until the establishment of ABAM, one barrier to this training was the lack of an addiction medicine subspecialty for primary care physicians. A subspecialty of addiction psychiatry exists within the field of psychiatry, however, this does not provide the opportunity for addiction certification for primary care physicians and those in other specialties. While there are excellent addiction psychiatry fellowships, there are no addiction medicine residencies for physicians pursuing primary care specialties among the 9,262 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited U.S. programs that are training 119,588 residents.
To ensure that ABAM-certified physicians maintain life-long competence, ABAM offers a rigorous certifying examination developed by an expert addiction medicine committee and the National Board of Medical Examiners, as well as a Maintenance of Certification program. Physicians from any specialty who are certified by a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), or who have completed an ACGME-accredited residency in their primary field, may qualify to sit for the ABAM examination and become board certified in addiction medicine.
One of ABAM’s goals is to have a member board of the ABMS certify physicians in addiction medicine. Certification by an ABMS member board is considered the “gold standard” in physician credentialing. In a move to meet ABMS criteria, The ABAM Foundation has given its accreditation to 19 addiction medicine fellowship training programs.
ABAM was launched at a time of increasing promise for addiction treatment and at a time of increased need for treatment providers. Scientific discoveries have confirmed that addiction is a chronic disease of the brain caused by biological and developmental factors, with unique vulnerabilities and pathology, and a predictable course if not interrupted by effective treatment. An increasing number of medically based addiction treatments have become available, and more are on the horizon. The need for addiction medicine physicians will increase, as 30 million formerly uninsured Americans will have health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For more information on ABAM, please visit http://www.abam.net. To learn about The ABAM Foundation, go to http://www.abamfoundation.org.
Officers and Directors The American Board of Addiction Medicine And The ABAM Foundation Officers
Patrick G. O’Connor, M.D., M.P.H., FACP President Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine Professor of Medicine and Chief, Section of General Internal Medicine Yale University School of Medicine
Robert J. Sokol, M.D., FACOG. President-Elect Diplomate, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology The John M. Malone, Jr., MD, Endowed Chair & Director, C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology Wayne State University School of Medicine
Jeffrey H. Samet, M.D., M.A., M.P.H. Immediate Past President Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine Professor of Medicine and Social and Behavioral Sciences Chief, General Internal Medicine Section Boston University School of Medicine
Gail D’Onofrio, M.D., M.S. Secretary Diplomate, American Board of Emergency Medicine Professor and Chair Department of Emergency Medicine Yale University School of Medicine Chief, Emergency Medicine Department Yale-New Haven Hospital
Lon R. Hays, M.D., M.B.A., DFAPA Treasurer Diplomate, ABAM and American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Professor and Chair University of Kentucky Dept. of Psychiatry Distinguished Fellow, APA Director Area V Amer. Acad. Addiction Psychiatry Fellow, American College of Psychiatrists
Hoover Adger, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A. Diplomate, American Board of Pediatrics Professor of Pediatrics Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Louis E. Baxter, M.D., FASAM Diplomate, American Board of Addiction Medicine Immediate Past-President American Society of Addiction Medicine Executive Medical Director Professional Assistance Program of New Jersey Medical Director, Division of Addiction Services New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Instructor in Medicine Thomas Jefferson School of Medicine
Richard D. Blondell, M.D. Diplomate, American Board of Family Medicine Professor of Family Medicine Department of Family Medicine SUNY University at Buffalo
Kathleen T. Brady, M.D., Ph.D., DFAPA Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Director, Division of Clinical Neuroscience Director, General Clinical Research Center Medical University of South Carolina
Peter David Friedmann, M.D., M.P.H., FASAM Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine Professor of Medicine, Health Services, Policy Warren Alpert Medical School Brown University Division of General Internal Medicine Rhode Island Hospital
Larry M. Gentilello, M.D., FACS Diplomate, American Board of Surgery
Michael M. Miller, M.D., FASAM, FAPA Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Associate Clinical Professor University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Medical Director Herrington Recovery Center Rogers Memorial Hospital
Edward V. Nunes, M.D. Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Professor of Clinical Psychiatry Department of Psychiatry Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
Jeffery N. Wilkins, MD Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Lincy/Heyward-Moynihan Chair of Addiction Medicine Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Professor of Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
Martha J. Wunsch, M.D., FAAP, FASAM Diplomate, American Board of Pediatrics Medical Director, Addiction Medicine Chemical Dependency Recovery Program Kaiser Permanente-GSAA