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FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

What is the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) and what is its mission?

ABAM is an independent specialty board, established in 2007. ABAM‟s mission is to promote the training and certification of an expanding number of physicians in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of substance related disorders, in order to help address the enormous public health burden presented by tobacco, alcohol, and other substance use disorders and related conditions. Physicians from many medical fields specialize in addiction, and a formal training and certification pathway for them is essential, as the only current ABMS-approved specialty training pathway in addictions is offered through addiction psychiatry, which is open only to psychiatrists. Since many more physicians need to be trained in addictions to meet the pressing public health need, ABAM provides this pathway, and thus promotes the public welfare and contributes to the improvement of the quality of care in the medical specialty of addiction medicine; establishes and maintains standards and procedures for certification, re-certification and transitional maintenance of certification; assesses physicians‟ knowledge in the specialty, and, most fundamentally, certifies physicians in addiction medicine. One of ABAM‟s goals is to gain American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) recognition for the discipline of addiction medicine, through collaboration with the ABMS and its member Boards. This recognition will become realized when the ABMS establishes a certification program for physicians in Addiction Medicine. (ABAM Mission,
March 6, 2012; Copyright 2012, The American Board of Addiction Medicine, Inc.)

Click here to see the complete Mission Statement of ABAM.

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ABAM offers a Transitional Maintenance of Certification program for its current diplomates and a public listing of physicians who hold active ABAM certification status. In March, 2016 the American Board of Medical Specialties formally recognized addiction medicine as a multi-specialty subspecialty. Future certification examinations in addiction medicine will be administered by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.