For the Practice Pathway, what type of practice may I count towards my required 1920 hours?
Time spent working as the primary decision-maker providing direct patient care in the subspecialty practice of Addiction Medicine counts toward the Practice Pathway. Practice Pathway settings may include prescribing buprenorphine in an office-based opioid treatment program; working in a methadone maintenance clinic; providing medically managed withdrawal treatment from alcohol, sedatives, opioids, or other substances; providing hospital-based addiction consultation services (consultation-liaison service); acting as a medical director of a residential addiction treatment program; and other settings.
In addition, documentation of Addiction Medicine-related teaching, research, and administration activities, as well as clinical care or prevention of, or treatment of, individuals who are at risk for, or have, a substance use disorder may be counted towards practice hour requirements.
Does my certification from the AOA count towards board certification?
Yes. Physicians who have successfully completed an AOA-accredited residency, are currently certified by at least one AOA board and who have completed an ACGME-accredited fellowship in Addiction Medicine are eligible to apply to the ABPM for Certification in Addiction Medicine through the ACGME-accredited Fellowship Pathway.
Unfortunately, physicians who possess AOA board certification but have not successfully completed an ACGME-accredited fellowship in Addiction Medicine are not eligible to apply to the ABPM for Certification in Addiction Medicine. Review the requirements for Addiction Medicine Certification through the ACGME-Accredited Fellowship Pathway at https://www.theabpm.org/become-certified/subspecialties/addiction-medicine/
Is certification from Canada recognized for primary board certification?
Yes. Physicians who have successfully completed an accredited residency in Canada, are currently certified by either the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), and who have completed an ACGME-accredited fellowship in Addiction Medicine are eligible to apply to the ABPM for Board Certification through the ACGME-Accredited Fellowship pathway.
Physicians who possess RCPSC or CFPC certification but have not successfully completed an ACGME-accredited fellowship in Addiction Medicine are not eligible to apply to the ABPM for Certification in Addiction Medicine. Review the requirements for Addiction Medicine certification through the ACGME-Accredited Fellowship Pathway at https://www.theabpm.org/become-certified/subspecialties/addiction-medicine.
I have not maintained my primary ABMS board certification. I am still certified in my subspecialty. Am I still eligible to apply for board certification?
Primary board certification is a core requirement. Some ABMS boards do not require Diplomates to maintain their primary Specialty certification in order to maintain Subspecialty certification. In those cases, Subspecialty certification would meet the primary board certification requirements for ABPM certification in Addiction Medicine. The status of primary certification is determined by each individual board.
ABPM recently expanded board certification requirements to allow physicians with current AOA certification or Canadian certification to apply through the ACGME-accredited Fellowship Pathway. You may review the requirements for Addiction Medicine certification through the ACGME-Accredited Fellowship Pathway at https://www.theabpm.org/become-certified/subspecialties/addiction-medicine/.
My state medical license was restricted when I entered an addiction treatment program required by my state medical board, and I have complied with all the requirements of my state medical board. Do those license restrictions for medical reasons prevent me from applying to ABPM for Certification in Addiction Medicine?
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.
For the Practice Pathway, what type of practice may I count towards my required 1920 hours?
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.
In addition, documentation of Addiction Medicine teaching, research and administration activities, as well as clinical care or prevention of, or treatment of, individuals who are at risk for or have a substance use disorder may be considered as practice hours.
Is it possible to fulfill a portion of the Practice Pathway requirements during my residency? Would the ABPM be willing to allow me to satisfy the requirements through electives, research, or other means?
ABPM does not provide credit for hours concurrent with a residency or a non-Addiction Medicine fellowship. Electives will not count towards requirements of the Practice Pathway.
Do all of my practice hours need to be in the setting of compensated work? I am very committed to volunteer work and serving traditionally underserved populations.
Non-compensated or volunteer work may count towards practice requirements, provided you are functioning as the primary decision-maker and providing direct patient care. These activities must be verified with appropriate documentation and letters of reference.
Time spent just observing or shadowing without primary decision-making responsibility for patient care does not count towards practice requirements.
In addition to direct patient care, how many hours working in medication-assisted addiction treatment program management (for example, reviewing outcomes or implementing quality measures) can count towards practice requirements? How many hours doing research can count towards practice requirements?
Addiction Medicine practice outside of direct patient care, including research, administration, or teaching activities, may count for a combined maximum of 1,440 hours (75% of the total required minimum practice time of 1920 hours). To get credit for these activities, you will need to submit the work product (published paper, list of lectures, etc.) or independent verification of activity.
To be eligible, you must also demonstrate a minimum of 480 hours of direct patient care in Addiction Medicine.
I spent one month shadowing (observing) an Addiction Medicine physician in a residential addiction treatment program near my private general practice. Will I be able to count this towards the Practice Pathway?
No. Observation or “shadowing” without “hands-on” patient care for which you are the primary provider — even in the subspecialty of Addiction Medicine — will not count towards the practice requirements of the Practice Pathway. Only direct patient care specifically in Addiction Medicine for which you are the primary provider counts towards the 1,920 practice hours required for the Practice Pathway.
I worked 100% in Addiction Medicine for one month. How many hours should I count toward the practice requirement?
Report the number of hours you spent that month in direct patient care, administration, or research up to 40 hours per week. Please note the ABPM defines a full-time position as a position in which you work 40 hours per week; no more than 40 hours per week can be counted towards practice time requirements for any individual full-time position listed in your application.
Can my practice partner write the verification letter documenting my Addiction Medicine Practice for the Practice Pathway?
No, the letter verifying Addiction Medicine practice for the Practice Pathway cannot be written by a practice partner, even one certified by the ABPM in Addiction Medicine. The verification letter must be written by 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 the credentials of the individual who will provide the letter of verification for the applicant, which will be reviewed by the ABPM for appropriateness. The ABPM will make the final determination on the suitability of the individual to provide a verification letter.
I both work in a private outpatient general practice and provide rotating coverage with the other physicians on the inpatient unit at a local hospital, for an average total of 48 hours per week over a six-month period. I estimate that around one-third of the patients I see between the two practice settings have problems due to addiction. Can I claim one-third of my practice time (16 hours per week) in both settings towards the Practice Pathway requirements?
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 1,920 hours spent in the practice of Addiction Medicine. In the example above, only 12 hours per week (25% of 48 hours per week) would count towards the Practice Pathway.
Can CME credits count towards fulfilling the requirements for the Practice Pathway?
ABPM supports your commitment to lifelong learning. However, CME activities, even if related to the subspecialty of Addiction Medicine, do not count towards the practice time requirements of the Practice Pathway.
The required 1,920 hours may only consist of time in direct patient care, research, training, and administration specifically in Addiction Medicine.
What is the application review process for the Addiction Medicine Practice Pathway?
First, physicians complete the application online. In the application, physicians provide detailed descriptions of their practice activities, therapies, volumes of patients and they list any prescriptive licenses they hold. Applicants provide the average number of hours engaged in each practice activity per week.
Upon submission of an application, ABPM Staff verify applicants’ medical degree, medical license, and primary board certification. They will also confirm that all required practice verifications and letters of reference have been received. They may contact applicants if any component is missing or if they have questions.
After ABPM Staff complete their preliminary review, they submit the applications to physician reviewers, All applications are reviewed by physicians certified by the ABPM in Addiction Medicine.
Physician reviews will review the descriptions, verifications, and references and will evaluate the practice hours. The physician reviewers may render a decision or request additional information.
Applicants will be notified of decisions or requests for additional information via email. Applicants should monitor the status of their applications through the physician portal.
How long will it take to receive my application decision?
All applications will be reviewed only after the applications have been completed and ABPM has received all required documentation. Applicants who submit applications prior to May will likely receive a decision within four weeks of submission.
Applications submitted in June tend to take longer to review due to the volume of applications being received during this time period. Applicants who complete and submit applications in June will likely receive a decision 6 to 8 weeks after submission.
All required supporting materials and documentation must be submitted to ABPM by July 31, 2022. Incomplete applications or applications with missing documentation after the deadline of July 31, 2022, may be considered a voluntary withdrawal and will be closed.
We encourage you to track your application through the Physician Portal and maintain contact with your verifiers and references to ensure the supporting documentation is sent to the ABPM in a timely manner.
During my Critical Care Medicine fellowship, I worked also as the Addiction Medicine expert for Critical Care and led an effort to implement an alcohol withdrawal treatment protocol in the SICU. I studied the effort and published a paper. My effort was 15 hours per week on average. Will I be able to count this towards the Practice Pathway?
ABPM does not provide credit for any time spent in non-Addiction Medicine fellowships. Elective rotations completed during a residency do not count towards the practice hours requirements of the Practice Pathway
Can I apply if I completed a fellowship in Addiction Medicine that was not accredited by ACGME, such as those accredited through ACAAM (formerly known as TAMF)?
If you completed a fellowship that was not ACGME-accredited when you completed the program, you may apply through the Practice Pathway. Credit for completion of a non-ACGME-accredited Addiction Medicine fellowship program may satisfy the practice time requirements. The fellowship training curriculum as well as a description of the actual training experience must also be submitted for final approval by the Board.
To satisfy Practice Pathway requirements, the non-ACGME-accredited Addiction Medicine fellowship must be at least 12 months in duration and must be deemed acceptable by the ABPM.
Time spent in fellowship training of less than 12 months in duration may be applied towards the practice time requirements of the Practice Pathway. Additional practice time may be required to be eligible for the certification exam.
Where can I obtain information about an Addiction Medicine Fellowship?
You can find a list of all ACGME-accredited fellowships at the American College of American Addiction Medicine (ACAAM) website at https://www.acaam.org/accreditedfellowships/.
How do I register for the ABPM Addiction Medicine initial certification exam?
Approved applicants may register for the ABPM Addiction Medicine initial certifying exam by visiting the ABPM’s Physician Portal at http://certification.theabpm.org/login and clicking the “register now” button.
What are the Transitional Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements for Diplomates Certified by the ABPM for Addiction Medicine?
You may find all of the ABPM’s Transitional MOC requirements by clicking on the link below:
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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.