Current ABAM applicants holding certification by ABAM must meet the medical licensure and ABMS certification requirements to be considered for the Addiction Medicine subspecialty examination.
The current status of each applicant will be verified through ABAM during the review of their application.
Physicians who have passed the 2015 ABAM examination, and meet the medical licensure and ABMS board certification requirements, must submit formal application through the “ABAM Diplomate” Pathway. Once reviewed and approved by the Board, the applicant’s exam requirement may be waived. Certification will be conferred following usual procedures, with an effective date of January 1, 2020.
All ABAM certificants will be required to apply for and take the examination, with one exception.
For individuals who passed the 2015 ABAM examination and who, upon review of their application, meet all ABPM requirements, the examination will be waived and certification will be conferred following usual procedures, with an effective date of January 1st of 2020 for applicants applying in 2019. This waiver applies only to individuals who passed the 2015 ABAM examination and who meet the other eligibility requirements.
If applying through the Practice Pathway: No
If applying through the ABAM Pathway: Yes
It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine their currency status.
The ABAM pathway will be available through the 2021 application cycle. The Addiction Medicine subspecialty certifying exam will be given annually throughout this period.
Time spent working as the primary decision-maker providing direct patient care in the specialty practice of Addiction Medicine counts toward the Practice Pathway. Practice Pathway settings may include: office-based opioid treatment program prescribing buprenorphine; working in a methadone maintenance clinic, providing medically managed withdrawal treatment from alcohol, sedatives, opioids, or other substances; hospital-based addiction consultation services (consultation-liaison service); medical director of a residential addiction treatment program and other settings
Non-compensated or volunteer work will count towards the total required practice time, as long as the candidate is functioning as the primary decision maker providing direct patient care. Time spent just observing (shadowing) without primary decision making responsibility for patient care does not count towards the 1920 hours. These activities must be verified with appropriate documentation/letters of support.
Addiction Medicine practice outside of direct patient care including research and/or administration and/or teaching activities – may count for a combined maximum of 75% (or 1440 hours) of the total required minimum practice time of 1920 hours. Documentation of work in these areas will require submission of product or independent verification of activity, such as: published paper, list of lectures, etc. Applicants must demonstrate a minimum of 25% (or 480 hours) as “Direct Patient Care”.
An applicant may count up to 25% of a general practice (e.g., FM, IM, EM, etc) with a general statement that this proportion of their practice is treating addicted patients. This 25% applies to the 1920 hours in total (480 hrs), not 480 hours each year. You cannot meet the total requirements in general practice. An applicant may offer an additional percentage of their practice as an addiction medicine practice, but the documentation of that practice would be the responsibility of the applicant and subject to verification and acceptance by the Board. An applicant must have 75% (1440 hours) documented in the specialty practice of Addiction Medicine (as patient care, administration, research, and/or teaching) separate from general practice.
No, observation or “shadowing”—even in the specialty of Addiction Medicine—without “hands-on” patient care for which you are the primary provider, does not count towards fulfilling the requirements for the Practice Pathway. An observership without being responsible for the direct care of the patient as the attending physician is similar to being a trainee. Only direct patient care specifically in Addiction Medicine for which you are the primary provider counts towards the 1920 hours required for the Practice Pathway.
ABPM does not provide credit for any time spent in a residency. Electives may not count towards the practice path.
Report the number of hours spent during that month in direct patient care, administration, or research during this experience.
ABPM does not provide credit for any time spent in non-addiction medicine fellowships. Electives may not count towards the practice pathway
While the ABPM supports the commitment to lifelong learning embodied in CME/MOC activities, initial subspecialty certification through the ABPM requires no CME/MOC documentation. CME credit—even in the specialty of Addiction Medicine—does not count towards fulfilling the requirements for the Practice Pathway. The required 1920 hours may only consist of direct patient care, specifically in Addiction Medicine.
No, the letter for documentation and verification of Addiction Medicine Practice for the Practice Pathway cannot be written by a practice partner, even one certified in Addiction Medicine. The verification letter must come from an independent supervising physician, such as a Chief of Staff, Department Chair, or Fellowship Director. If there is no independent supervising physician that meets these criteria, then the applicant must provide documentation for consideration by ABPM the credentials of the individual who will provide the letter of verification for the applicant. The ABPM will make the final determination of the suitability of the individual providing the letter of verification.
Up to 25% of the time spent in a General Practice (whether in Psychiatry, Internal medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, etc.) can be counted towards the required 1920 hours spent in the practice of Addiction Medicine. In the example above, only 12 hours per week (25% of 48 hours/week) would count towards the Practice Pathway.
CME credit even in the specialty of Addiction Medicine does not count towards fulfilling the requirements for the Practice Pathway. The required 1920 hours may only consist of direct patient care, research, training and administration specifically in Addiction Medicine.
Certification through the AOA/Canada will not fulfill the board requirements for subspecialty certification through the ABPM. Requirements state physicians must hold current primary certification through 1 of the 24 member boards of ABMS. The 24 member boards can be found listed here: http://www.abms.org/member-boards/
You can register by visiting our website at http://theabpm.org and hitting the “register now” button. There are two different pathways for addiction medicine. If you are an ABAM diplomate, you would take the ABAM Diplomate Pathway. If not, you would apply through the Practice Pathway. All requirements and additional information on the pathways can be found here: https://www.theabpm.org/become-certified/subspecialties/addiction-medicine/.
Primary board certification is a core requirement. Some ABMS boards accept subspecialty certification as meeting the primary certification requirements. In those cases the individual would be listed as certified in the primary specialty.
The status of primary certification is determined by each individual board.
The ABPM has expanded the eligibility requirements for certification in Addiction Medicine to include physicians certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) who formerly were also certified by at least one ABMS Member Board but who no longer hold an active primary ABMS board certification.
To be eligible, physicians must be: (i) currently certified by ABAM; (ii) current with ABAM’s transitional Maintenance of Certification program and (iii) have previously possessed underlying primary certification from at least one ABMS Member Board. Physicians who never obtained primary ABMS Member Board certification or who lost primary ABMS Member Board certification as the result of disciplinary action, or who may have surrendered a medical license in lieu of or otherwise to avoid the possibility of disciplinary action being taken against the license are not eligible for this expanded pathway. The expanded pathway is open for a period beginning January 1, 2019 through the end of the 2021 exam cycle on December 31, 2021.
A physician who has voluntarily entered into a rehabilitation program for chemical dependency/addiction/substance use disorder or a practice improvement plan with the approval of a state medical board shall not be considered to have a restriction on his/her license to practice medicine for the purposes of applying to ABPM for certification in Addiction Medicine. This would not prevent the physician from applying to ABPM for certification in Addiction Medicine.
The Practice Pathway will be available for the first five years the new subspecialty examination is administered. For Addiction Medicine, the five-year interval is from 2017 through 2021. Beginning in 2022, all applicants for certification in Addiction Medicine must successfully complete an ACGME-accredited Addiction Medicine fellowship program.
Applicants who have completed existing fellowships that are not ACGME accredited will be given consideration by the ABPM through the Practice Pathway. Credit for completion of training in a non-ACGME accredited fellowship program may be substituted for the Practice Time Requirement. The applicant must have successfully completed an Addiction Medicine fellowship of at least 12 months that is acceptable to the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Fellowship training of less than 12 months may be applied towards the Time in Practice hour requirements of the Practice Pathway. The fellowship training curriculum as well as a description of the actual training experience must also be submitted for final approval by the Board.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has approved the accreditation of fellowships in the subspecialty of Addiction Medicine. The specific requirements for the ACGME-accredited fellowships in Addiction Medicine are currently under development. Institutions seeking ACGME accreditation for Addiction Medicine fellowships should contact the ACGME and follow their requirements. The accreditation process started in 2018.
The Examination window has been extended. All ABPM examinations will be offered 7 days a week, Monday, October 14 through Sunday, November 3, 2019. See website for details.
The Addiction Medicine requirements and features of continuous certification are being developed and will likely closely parallel those of other ABPM subspecialties. These include a ten-year certification cycle length, a valid and unrestricted license to practice in all jurisdictions in which one is licensed, lifelong learning in ABPM approved activities, successful participation in a secure examination, and verification of improvement in practice, i.e., the four parts of continuous certification.
There is a $500 Board Review Fee associated with all Addiction Medicine applications.
Applicants applying through the Practice Pathway for Addiction Medicine should select from the drop-down menu the practice activities that are applicable to their practice and include a specific, detailed description.
Applicants should provide detail about Addiction Medicine-specific practice that is separate from and in addition to general practice. Only 480 hours of general practice activities can count towards the required 1920 hours to be eligible for certification. Inpatient practice of subspecialty-level Addiction Medicine-specific activities should be listed separately from outpatient subspecialty-level Addiction Medicine-specific activities and the number of hours per week or month for each activity should be listed separately, including when that activity started and if there have been any increases or decreases in that number of hours over time and when.
Applicants with a buprenorphine practice should be listed separately and the applicant needs to describe how many hours per week or month are spent prescribing buprenorphine, when that activity started and if there have been any increases or decreases in that number of hours over time and when, and how many patients are being treated and if that has changed and when.
If applicable, applicants including educational activities that are Addiction Medicine-specific should provide a detailed explanation of the courses taught, what curricula have been developed that are specific to addiction, and any clinical teaching that occurs in the buprenorphine clinic, along with the appropriate number of hours per week or month for each activity.
Following is a guideline for the drop-down menu for the practice pathway application for Addiction Medicine. Please provide a detailed explanation of each practice activity selected. Include volume of patients; types of treatments or therapies offered; types of addictions treated; type of medications used.
Prevention Services: Describe the evidence-informed interventions used in your practice to prevent the unhealthy use of alcohol, tobacco, nicotine and other substances.
Screening: Provide a detailed description of the screening tools you use in your practice to identify patients with risky substance use behaviors. Describe the average number of patients that are included in the screening process per week.
Assessment/Diagnosis of Intoxication: Describe methods or tools you use in your practice to assess and diagnose intoxication. Include any assessment protocols or tools used. On average how many patients are assessed or treated per week in your practice?
Brief Intervention: Describe your practice activities in which you engage patients showing risking substance use behaviors. Provide the average number of patients that your practice may engage in a brief intervention.
Referral: Describe in detail how you evaluate a patient to determine if a referral is made? On average how many patients do you refer for additional treatment or therapies per week?
Assessment/Diagnosis of Withdrawal: Provide a detailed description of you assess or diagnoses a patient in withdrawal? Descriptions may include the number of patients treated per week and any ongoing care provided.
Management of Mild to Moderate Withdrawal: Provide a detailed description of your management of patients in mild to moderate withdrawal, including any assessment protocols used. Descriptions may include the type of treatments and/or therapies offered, including the average number of patients managed per week.
Management of Mild to Moderate Intoxication: Provide a detailed description of your management of patients with mild to moderate intoxication. Explain the assessment tools or skills used in your practice. Descriptions may include the type of treatments and/or therapies offered, including the average number of patients managed per week.
Medication Management of Addiction: Provide a detailed description of the type of counseling and/or behavioral therapies offered. This includes providing detail about prescribing buprenorphine to patients and whether the applicant provides separate subspecialty-level addiction treatment for addiction (for example, detoxing patients from alcohol as well as opioids, or treating addiction in patients who do not use opioids).
Assessment/Diagnosis of Addiction and Substance-related Disorders: Provide a detailed description of how you assess/diagnosis Addiction and Substance-related disorders in your practice activities, including the assessment tools or skills used. Your description may include an explanation of the treatments and or therapies that may be offered. Include the average number of patients assessed or diagnosed you may assess/diagnose per week.
Addiction Counseling: Individual, Group and Family Provide a detailed description of the type of counseling and/or behavioral therapies offered by you in your practice. On average, how many patients are seen through individual, group or family counseling per week in your practice?
Management of Severe or Complex Intoxication Provide a detailed description of how you manage patients during a severe or complex intoxication. Include assessment and diagnostic activities and the average number of patients presenting per week.
Management of Severe or Complex Withdrawal Describe how you manage patients during a severe or complex withdrawal. Include assessment and/or protocols used. A description of the treatments and therapies offered, and the average number of patients treated per week may be included.
Management of Psychiatric Complications Describe how you manage patients experiencing psychiatric complications related to addiction and other substance-related disorders. A detailed description of the type of treatments and therapies, as well as the number of patients on average per week may be included.
Screening/Referral for Dual Diagnosis Please describe the screening methods and the referrals used by you in your practice to screen and refer patients with a dual diagnosis. Include the average number of patients screened or referred for a dual diagnosis per week.
Assessment/Management of Dual Diagnosis Please describe the assessment methods used in your practice and the number of average patients assessed with dual diagnosis and or managed per week in your practice.
Research, Administrative or Training responsibilities within Medical and Professional Organizations Acceptable examples include American Society of Addiction Medicine, American College of Academic Addition Medicine, AMA, AOA, Advanced Studies in Medicine, American Psychiatric Association, etc., or state and local medical societies.
Volunteer activities that include Administration, Research or Administrative duties Participation in uncompensated activities of social significance, such as volunteer work at community health agencies, volunteer services on a board of directors for a healthcare agency, or volunteer work with schools, Planned Parenthood, Boy Scouts, etc.
Clinical Contributions Clinical contributions such as developing a unique model for addiction treatment or advancing the knowledge base of addiction medicine.
Political or Legislative Involvement Political or legislative involvement, grassroots or other lobbying, holding elected or appointed public office, serving as a committee member in the political process to further the goals of addiction medicine or ASAM, and/ or testifying before local, state, or federal legislative bodies to further the goals of addiction medicine.
Administrative Appointments Administrative appointments such as a position of authority within a hospital, hospital committee, or substance abuse treatment program; boards of substance abuse treatment programs; and federal or state departments of alcoholism and/or drug abuse.
Published Work Published writings in peer-reviewed journals and/or books, or chapters of books, written for the education of professionals.
Teaching or Educational Contributions Teaching contributions, such as appointment to medical school faculty in substance abuse teaching, volunteer teaching of alcoholism and drug abuse information to patients in publicly funded treatment or education programs, or presentations of formal lectures in the substance abuse field to physicians and/or healthcare providers in the addiction field, on a consistent basis.
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|An MPH Degree?*|
|An ABMS Board Certification|
|Practice Years Required||3||3||4||5||6||8|
Credentials: MPH Degree, An ABMS Board Certification
Practice Years Required: 3
Credentials: Residency, An ABMS Board Certification
Practice Years Required: 3
Credentials: MPH Degree
Practice Years Required: 4
Practice Years Required: 5
Credentials: An ABMS Board Certification
Practice Years Required: 6
Credentials: No MPH Degree, No ABMS Board Certification, No Residency
Practice Years Required: 8
*Without an MPH degree, you are still required to complete coursework (worth 3 credits each) in epidemiology, biostatistics, health services administration, environmental health sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. Total practice years refers to the amount of practice time in the specialty area for which certification is being sought.