American Board of Addiction Medicine Certifies 651 New Diplomates, and The ABAM Foundation Accredits Four More Fellowship Programs

Total Board-Certified Addiction Medicine Physicians Reaches 3,363, While Accredited Training Programs Grow to 27


Newswise — The American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) today announced that 651 physicians passed its most recent addiction medicine certification examination, while The ABAM Foundation accredited four additional fellowship programs to train new addiction medicine physicians. The number of newly certified addiction medicine specialists represents the largest group of physicians to be certified in a single year, bringing the total number of ABAM diplomates (physicians certified by ABAM) to 3,363. With the addition of the four new fellowship programs, the total number of ABAM Foundation accredited addiction medicine training programs has reached 27. “The addiction medicine field is growing by leaps and bounds, and we are gratified to see that so many physicians have chosen to become ABAM certified in order to better prevent and treat the nation’s number one public health problem,” said Patrick G. O’Connor, MD, MPH, FACP, President of ABAM and The ABAM Foundation, and Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Section of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine. “At the same time, we are happy to welcome the new fellowship programs, which will train North America’s future addiction medicine leaders. With so many physicians passing our rigorous examination, and so many completing this comprehensive clinical training, we are helping make evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment more readily available to those who need it.”

The fellowship programs, which are modeled on the Foundation’s national guidelines, Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Addiction Medicine, are based at leading medical institutions across the U.S. and Canada. Accreditation of these new programs means that there are now 56 addiction medicine fellowship slots available each year. The ABAM Foundation hopes to accredit 65 addiction medicine fellowship programs by 2020.

The new fellowship programs are the: University of Kentucky Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program (Lexington, KY); Caron-Reading Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program (Wernersville, PA); Oregon Health & Science University Addiction Medicine Fellowship (Portland, OR); and Rhode Island Hospital Addiction Medicine Fellowship (Providence, RI). (See table at end of this release for information on these programs, and detailed summaries of all ABAM Foundation fellowship programs at http://www.abam.net/2015_2016_admfellowships/.

The ABAM Foundation-accredited fellowship programs provide one and two year subspecialty training, which is offered to physicians already trained in primary care specialties (internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology) and other specialties. Accrediting these and future training programs will help to assure the American public that addiction physician specialists have the knowledge and skills to prevent, recognize and treat addiction. It will also help ensure that trained physicians are available to address common medical or psychiatric conditions related to the use of addictive substances.

The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology offers fellowships in the psychiatry subspecialty of addiction psychiatry. There are 46 addiction psychiatry fellowship programs in the U.S. Prior to the establishment of ABAM and The ABAM Foundation, psychiatrists were the only medical specialty that had board certification and sub-specialty fellowship training in addictions available to them.

The new class of ABAM diplomates represents the widest array of specialties yet – nearly 40 specialties and subspecialties in all. The new diplomates hail from 48 states, the District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces. They work in a broad array of health care settings, including government agencies, corrections, universities, private practices and hospitals, among others. Of note, the average age of new diplomates has dropped with each exam cycle since 2010. ABAM certification is valid for 10 years, and all successful examinees are automatically enrolled in the ABAM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program.

ABAM will offer its next certification examination October 16, 2015. The regular application deadline will be April 30, while the final examination deadline is July 1. For more information, go to http://www.abam.net/take-the-exam/. The ABAM Foundation is accepting applications on an ongoing basis from addiction medicine training programs seeking accreditation. For more information, please contact The ABAM Foundation accreditation office at AddictionMedicine@buffalo.edu.

Separate courses in addiction medicine are rarely taught in medical school, and there are no addiction medicine fellowships among the 8,887 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited residency and fellowship programs in the nation’s hospitals. ABAM's goal is to have a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) certify physicians in addiction medicine. This process is now underway and, once complete, the Foundation will apply to the ACGME to accredit its fellowship programs.

The ABAM Foundation’s purpose is to establish and accredit addiction medicine training programs and support the mission of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. ABAM’s mission is to improve the quality of care in the medical specialty of addiction medicine, establish standards and procedures, and certify physicians as experts in this specialized field of medical practice. ABAM and The ABAM Foundation are governed by 18 distinguished physicians from a range of medical specialties, each of whom is certified by a member board of the ABMS. For more information, visit: www.abamfoundation.org and www.abam.net. More detail on the new ABAM Foundation-accredited residencies follows.

Newly Accredited ABAM Foundation Addiction Medicine Fellowships, As Of January 2015
Name of Fellowship ProgramUniversity of Kentucky Addiction Medicine Fellowship ProgramCaron-Reading Medical Center Addiction Medicine Fellowship ProgramOregon Health & Science University Addiction Medicine FellowshipRhode Island Hospital Addiction Medicine Fellowship
LocationLexington, KYWernersville, PAPortland, ORProvidence, RI
Sponsoring InstitutionUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineReading HospitalOregon Health & Science University HospitalRhode Island Hospital-Lifespan
Medical SchoolUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineJefferson Medical College (Philadelphia)Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
Primary Clinical Site(s)Ridge Behavioral Health, University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, University of Kentucky Good Samaritan Hospital, Eastern State Hospital, various outpatient settingsCaron Treatment Center, Reading Medical CenterOHSU, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Central City Concern, CODARhode Island Hospital and various other settings
Program LengthOne YearOne Year1-2 Years1-2 Years
Number of FellowsOne FellowTwo FellowsTwo FellowsOne Fellow
Program DirectorLon R. Hays, MD, MBAKenneth W. Thompson, MDP. Todd Korthuis, MD, MPHPeter D. Friedmann, MD, MPH

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