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FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important for addiction medicine physicians to be board certified?

Board certification, which is voluntary and separate from state licensure (which is required to practice medicine), demonstrates that a physician has the knowledge and expertise to provide medical care in a given specialty.

Physicians certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) have demonstrated through their by education, experience and passing a comprehensive examination that they have the requisite knowledge and skills to provide prevention, screening, intervention and treatment for addiction and substance use disorders. Addiction can involve alcohol, tobacco and illegal and prescription medications. Addiction medicine physicians can recognize and treat the physical and psychiatric complications of addiction and substance use disorders.

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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.