About Us

Robert C. Sherrick, MD, FASAM

Candidate for Region VIII Director

Biography and Statement


1. What are your greatest contributions to ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

I have been working in the area of Addiction Medicine for 25 years, both inpatient and outpatient. I have extensive clinical experience in all aspects of Addiction Medicine. I restarted the Northwest Chapter of ASAM after a number of years of inactivity and am currently serving as President. I started using buprenorphine in 2003 in my Internal Medicine practice. In 2009, I developed an office-based buprenorphine program for VA Montana, covering the state with one of the earliest uses of telemedicine. Since becoming Chief Medical Officer of Community Medical Services, I have written a training manual for Opioid Treatment Program providers and have participated in the development of clinic protocols. I have had the opportunity to train many providers in treating Opioid Use Disorders with MAT and continue to provide medical guidance to over 40 OTPs in 9 states. I continue to treat all forms of addiction in an inpatient treatment center. I have participated in the establishment of the first Opioid Treatment Program that is open 24/7 and able to admit patients at any time. We presented our data at the last ASAM Annual Convention and continue to push to make MAT available where and when patients need it. I have been active in my state and local chapter, networking with other Addiction Medicine providers in my areas. I have worked on community outreach, speaking in many forums throughout our state including medical settings, community meetings, gatherings of police officer and social workers, and speaking before the Montana legislature. I have been involved with the Montana Medical Association, on the Substance Use Disorder Task Force, Legislative Committee and serving as Board Member at Large.

2. How would your election benefit ASAM and the field of addiction medicine?

I believe my most important contribution is an extensive clinical background in all areas of Addiction Medicine. I have a firsthand understanding of the challenges facing Addiction Medicine providers. I believe that ASAM has a tremendous amount to offer its members and I think the State Chapters are the heart of reaching the members in their communities. The biggest challenge for most providers is time - and the increasing stresses on all providers such as using EMRs, documentation requirements for billing, maintaining an office, the need to see more patients in less time, etc. Many providers are too busy or overwhelmed to start an office-based buprenorphine practice. I believe the ASAM chapters can help with setting up professional linkages and support to providers starting out in MAT. I also believe that the foundation of success for treating patients with Substance Use Disorders is empathy - being able to understand your patient's situation and reflect that back to them. Communicating empathy takes skill and time, but it can also be rewarding and help prevent burnout. I believe that ASAM can have a significant role in training providers in the skills of Motivational Interviewing and how best to approach patients with Substance Use Disorders beyond the strict medical knowledge necessary. I believe that those providing care to this population of complex and sometimes difficult patients need encouragement and support. ASAM has a major task in fighting stigma and discrimination against those who suffer from Substance Use Disorders. Much of this stigma must be countered at a local level, with legislators, judges, police officers, and criminal justice workers. The State Chapters can help our members work with their communities and state medical societies to bring treatment to more patients when and where they need it. I have had tremendous support from ASAM in my career and as Regional Director I would seek to extend that to others as well, and to strengthen our state chapters. I thank you for your support.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Robert Sherrick, MD, FASAM, is Chief Medical Officer for Community Medical Services, a company that serves patients through over 40 Opioid Treatment Programs in 9 states. He also works at an inpatient addiction treatment facility in Kalispell, Montana, called Pathways Treatment Center, treating all forms of Substance Use Disorders and dual diagnosis patients.

Dr. Sherrick has been providing Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder since 2003, initially in an office setting using buprenorphine and subsequently with methadone in Opioid Treatment Programs. He established a state-wide buprenorphine treatment program for VA Montana with extensive use of telemedicine.

He is board certified in Addiction Medicine through the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He is currently the President of the Northwest Chapter of the American Society of Addiction Medicine.