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FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

Why does ABAM have as a goal the establishment by ABMS of a certification program in addiction medicine, administered by an ABMS member board?

ABAM’s ultimate goal is that there be a sufficient number of physicians who are expert in addiction where care is needed. The goal of establishing ABAM as an independent specialty board has been to provide a means by which:

  1. patients and families can know that physician experts in addiction medicine are highly credentialed and reliable;
  2. medical students can know that they have a means to choose a career as important and acceptable as any other medical specialty, and
  3. the development of departments of addiction medicine in accredited schools of medicine and osteopathic medicine can proceed and spur the growth of research and education into addiction and substance-related health conditions.

A certification program in addiction medicine under the auspices of the ABMS, through the broadly accepted standard provided by inclusion within the ABMS, will complete the achievement of these goals, and the recognition that addiction medicine physicians and the discipline of addiction medicine are members of the “the house of medicine.”

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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.