Newswise — The Addiction Medicine Foundation (TAMF, formerly known as The ABAM Foundation) today announced the accreditation of two additional fellowship programs to train addiction medicine physicians. The Addiction Medicine Foundation has supported the establishment of 44 addiction medicine fellowship training programs to date, based at major medical schools and teaching hospitals across North America, and is committed to establishing a total of 125 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited addiction medicine fellowship programs by 2025.
Addiction medicine is a new multi-specialty sub-specialty of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The sub-specialty is administratively sponsored by The American Board of Preventive Medicine and open to any ABMS certified physician.
“We welcome these two new programs as part of the critically needed expansion of the field of addiction medicine,” said Robert J. Sokol, MD, President of The Addiction Medicine Foundation. “These programs will help meet the need to train the nation’s future addiction medicine leaders who will provide expert evidence-based care, serve as faculty to train other health care professionals, and help assure that health care systems effectively address the full continuum of care from prevention to long term disease management.”
The new fellowship programs are Massachusetts General Hospital Addiction Medicine Fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the University of Utah Addiction Medicine Fellowship at University of Utah Health Care. The Mass General program will offer two fellowship positions and be directed by Sarah E. Wakeman, MD. Dr. Wakeman is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Medical Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Substance Use Disorder Initiative. The University of Utah program will offer one fellowship position and be directed by Elizabeth F. Howell, MD. Dr. Howell is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and also the Director of the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program.
Addiction medicine is defined as the prevention of the risky use of substances, including nicotine, alcohol, prescription medications and other licit and illicit drugs, and the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and management of the disease of addiction and related health conditions. Physicians specializing in this field also help family members whose health and functioning are affected by a loved one’s substance use or addiction.
The growing field of addiction medicine will provide urgently needed care to the more than 40 million Americans (16 percent of the non-institutionalized U.S. population age 12 and over) who meet medical criteria for addiction involving nicotine, alcohol or other drugs and the 80 million (32 percent) who engage in risky use of one or more addictive substances. Today few receive any form of prevention or early intervention and only about one in ten people who need treatment for addiction receive any form of treatment. Of those who do receive treatment, few receive evidence-based care.
Risky substance use and untreated addiction account for one-third of inpatient hospital costs and 24 percent of all deaths in the United States each year, cause or contribute to more than 100 other conditions requiring medical care, as well as vehicular crashes, other fatal and non-fatal injuries, overdose deaths, suicides, homicides, domestic discord, the highest incarceration rate in the world and many other costly social consequences. The economic cost to society is greater than the cost of diabetes and all cancers combined. Despite these startling statistics on the prevalence and costs of addiction, few physicians have been trained to prevent or treat it.
To address this vast unmet need, The Addiction Medicine Foundation is committed to building the addiction medicine workforce. To date, 4,000 physicians have been certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. The fellowship programs are modeled on the Foundation’s national guidelines, Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Addiction Medicine.
A sub-specialty certification in the field of addiction psychiatry (ADP) has been available since 1992 and patients, all of medicine and health care have benefited from this sub-specialty. ADP certification and the training for it is restricted to psychiatrists. The new certification and training in addiction medicine will be available to physicians across all medical fields.
The Addiction Medicine Foundation's work in advancing a trained addiction medicine physician workforce is dependent on philanthropic and other support. The Foundation has received significant funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, other philanthropies and governmental agencies including the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The Addiction Medicine Foundation’s purpose is to establish and accredit addiction medicine training programs and support the advancement of the field and care of patients. The Foundation is governed by 11 distinguished physicians from a range of medical specialties. For a list of all 44 fellowships and more information, visit www.abamfoundation.org, call (301) 656-3378 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.