Who We Are

ABAM’s mission is to maintain and enhance the quality of health care by certifying physicians who demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for excellent patient care in the field of Addiction Medicine. The intent of both the initial certification of physicians and the Transitional maintenance of certification is to provide assurance to the public that a physician specialist certified by ABAM has successfully completed an evaluation process which includes components designed to assess the medical knowledge, judgment, professionalism, clinical and communication skills required to provide quality patient care in Addiction Medicine.

The American Board of Addiction Medicine, Inc. (ABAM) is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(6) organization whose mission is to examine and certify diplomats. It was founded in 2007 following conferences of committees appointed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. This action was taken as a method of identifying the qualified specialists in Addiction Medicine. ABAM offers a rigorous certifying examination that was developed by an expert panel and the National Board of Medical Examiners, as well as Transitional maintenance of certification examination to ensure that ABAM-certified physicians maintain life-long competence in Addiction Medicine.

Certification by the American Board of Addiction Medicine Stands for the highest standard in Addiction Medicine, and has meant that ABAM-certified physicians have demonstrated – to their peers and to the public – that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care. It also indicates that an Addiction Medicine physician has met the clinical and educational criteria to be eligible to sit for a rigorous six hour written examination, and has successfully passed the examination. In order to maintain this certification, the physician must continue to participate in CME courses and other activities, and must periodically retake an examination to document that his or her knowledge and skills are up-to-date. There are currently several thousand valid certificates in Addiction Medicine.

ABAM is governed by the ABAM Board of Directors, composed of (15) Directors.  One (Specialty) Director is elected from each of the eight specialties that provide significant prevention of or treatment for addictive disorders: emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, preventive medicine and surgery. Seven At-Large Directors are elected without regard for their medical specialty, in order to provide special skills to ABAM and The ABAM Foundation and their Committees. Two of the At-Large Director seats are currently slotted for ASAM-certified physicians who are leaders within the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Our accountability is both to the profession of medicine and to the public.

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.