Quality & Science

ASAM Celebrates as Addiction Medicine is Recognized as New Medical Subspecialty

by Bob Davis | March 14, 2016

Today, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) celebrates with the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM), physicians, health care professionals, community leaders, and state and federal officials as addiction medicine is formally recognized as a new subspecialty by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) under the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM).

This recognizes addiction as a preventable and treatable disease, helping to shed the stigma of misunderstanding that has long plagued it and provides a new career option for medical students, residents and physicians interested in specializing in the treatment of addiction.

"For decades, the recognition of addiction medicine has been promoted by ASAM. It has been a key part of our mission and couldn’t come at more critical time," said ASAM President Dr. Jeffrey Goldsmith. "With the staggering rise of substance misuse and addiction, expanding the expert workforce needed to address the challenge is paramount."

Recognition will make it possible for addiction medicine fellowship training programs to seek accreditation by the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) leading to increased access to funding for fellowship training. It also brings other benefits including health network inclusion for addiction medicine specialists and a recognition that those who provide expert care meet the "gold standard" in board certification. "When I was ASAM president ten years ago, the Board had the vision to appoint a special group to develop the plan to reach this historical milestone," said Dr. Elizabeth Howell, ASAM Past President. "So many ASAM members and other committed leaders should be recognized for their years of work and commitment in making this possible."

It is anticipated that decisions related to practice pathway, future certification exams, and maintenance of certification will be announced by ABMS and ABPM. More detailed information will be available on the websites of ABPM (www.theabpm.org) and ABAM (www.abam.net). "ASAM is delighted that it will be hosting a special session at its 2016 Annual Conference in Baltimore next month where ABPM and ABAM officials can provide more details to attendees about the ramifications of this milestone and answer their questions," said Dr. Goldsmith.

NOTE: ASAM is the national leader in addiction medicine education, research and treatment. ASAM recently released its National Practice Guideline for the Use of Medications in the Treatment of Addiction Involving Opioid Use assist clinicians prescribing pharmacotherapies to patients with addiction related to opioid use. It’s the first such national guideline to cover all FDA-approved medications available to treat opioid addiction.



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  11. John Mar 22, 2016 - 10:23 AM
    Sadly a large number of ABAM certified Osteopaths, board certified in specialties by the AOA but not ABMS, will not be afforded the same opportunity for ADM certification. This will present financially as well as other hardships. We have been loyal, paid our membership dues, supported the organization by attending educational events, completed MOC requirements, yet the loyalty has not reciprocated. Bluntly, we have been thrown under the bus. It is notable that not one DO is on the ABAM board.
  12. Gene Mar 19, 2016 - 09:00 AM
    A tremendous step forward!
  13. Rob Mar 16, 2016 - 07:30 AM
    Thank you :), for all the effort put forth by all who have worked hard to make this possible. This is great news. 
  14. Rodger C Kollmorgen, MD, PhD, JD Mar 15, 2016 - 02:49 PM
    We are all indebted to the tireless and selfless efforts of Kevin Kunz, MD, MPH, for the ultimate recognition of Addiction Medicine as a bonafide, stand-alone medical specialty under the American Board of Medical Specialties. 

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