Candidate for Region I: Regional Director
1. What are your greatest contributions to ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?
My greatest contribution to ASAM has been my enthusiasm for addiction medicine as a gratifying career path and my promotion of ASAM as the professional medical society most committed and best equipped to advocate for the needs of individuals suffering from addictions and those physicians who care for them. I have been an active member of a number of national ASAM committees (Public Policy, By-laws, Fellowship) and was able to advocate with others for the formation of the Ethics Committee. The ASAM Ethics Committee has already established more rigorous conflict of interest reporting requirements. I have been a reviewer for the Journal of Addiction Medicine, am an Editorial Board member of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, have contributed a chapter to the Essentials of Addiction Medicine, and have been a presenter at the ASAM Review Course.
I have served on the Board of my state ASAM chapter (NYSAM) for over 20 years in a variety of roles and have consistently acted to increase the involvement of all our members and to broaden the composition of our leadership. I have had the privilege of participating in the growth in our educational programs and in the influence of our public policy advocacy. As a member of the Medical Advisory Panel of the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), I have been able to share NYSAM’s perspective on the importance of a regulatory approach which insists on meaningful involvement of addiction medicine physicians, incorporates advances in the science of addiction medicine, and encourages innovative treatment approaches. For example, I’m a member statewide taskforce working with OASAS to provide treatment for patients with opioid use disorders through telemedicine in underserved areas of New York. As the site principal investigator in a number of national and regional clinical trials, I have participated in the design and implementation of studies which have significance for day to day clinical practice. Finally, as a mentor to medical students, residents, and peers, I have been able to interest others in pursuing professional roles in addiction medicine.
2. How would your election benefit ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?
I would bring the unique perspectives and needs of New York to ASAM in my work as our Regional Director. As Medical Director of Committee for Physician Health and as medical director of a large network of addiction treatment programs before that, I have firsthand knowledge both as an administrator and a practitioner of the challenges facing physicians in a wide variety of settings throughout New York. I plan to work to focus ASAM resources on practice and public policy opportunities for improvement so that our patients have better outcomes and we have better professional lives.
I worry that our excitement over the establishment of the American Board of Addiction Medicine may have caused us to lose sight of our responsibility to educate and preserve career paths for physicians who enter our field without the benefit of fellowship training. I pledge to preserve ASAM as a force to recruit, train, and support any interested and promising physician to practice addiction medicine at any point in the physician’s career.
Through years of participating in the governance of local, regional, and national medical organizations, I have learned how to be an effective team player as well as a leader depending on my role in the organization. I look forward to the privilege of serving ASAM and helping ASAM better serve its New York State members.
Dr. Selzer is the Medical Director of Committee for Physician Health, New York State’s physician health program. He is also the Director of Northwell Health’s Physician Resource Network, a confidential counseling program for Northwell Health’s practicing physicians and physician trainees. Prior to assuming these positions, he was Medical Director of the Zucker Hillside Hospital and Director of Addiction Treatment Services for the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
Dr. Selzer graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School and completed a psychiatric residency at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is completing his first term as an ASAM Board Member representing Region 1 and participates in the Ethics, Public Policy, Distinguished Fellows, Constitution and By-Laws, and Physician Health Committees. He is also a Board Member of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine and chairs the Addiction Psychiatry Committee for the New York State Psychiatric Association. He is Co-Chair for the Research Committee of the Federation of State Physician Health Programs. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment and has also reviewed submissions for the Journal of Addiction Medicine.
Dr. Selzer is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.