Published on October 1, 2013 at 4:18 AM
Currently, very few physicians ever screen, intervene or refer, because they have not been educated about addiction medicine in medical school, nor trained in residencies. Until the establishment of the American Board of Addiction Medicine, one barrier to this training has been 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 address the issue of primary care training. 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 currently training 119,588 residents.
To meet this need, 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, which has active certification and Maintenance of Certification (MOC) programs.
The National Center builds on and expands other ABAM Foundation initiatives, including one funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to promote training of addiction medicine physicians so that they can be equipped to apply the latest scientific advances to patient care (National Infrastructure for Translating Addiction Research into Clinical Practice). The ABAM Foundation also partnered with the Boston University School of Medicine and Yale University to obtain a five-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to support the training of addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry fellows in clinical research.
Source: Conrad N. Hilton Foundation