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FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is addiction?
  2. What is an addiction medicine physician?
  3. What is the body of knowledge that makes up addiction medicine?
  4. What is the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) and what is its mission?
  5. What is the ABAM Foundation and what is its mission?
  6. What is the vision of ABAM and The ABAM Foundation?
  7. How are ABAM and the ABAM Foundation governed?
  8. Why is it important for addiction medicine physicians to be board certified?
  9. Why is it important that addiction medicine physicians be certified by one or more member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)?
  10. Why does ABAM have as a goal the establishment by ABMS of a certification program in addiction medicine, administered by an ABMS member board?
  11. How long will it take to achieve ABMS recognition?
  12. Who recognizes addiction medicine as a specialized area of medical practice?
  13. When will completion of a residency in addiction medicine be required for a physician to become certified by ABAM?
  14. What career paths are open to a physician who wishes to become a board-certified addiction specialist?
  15. Who are the ABAM Diplomates?
  16. How are addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry related?
  17. Why was it important to establish ABAM, and why at this particular time?
  18. How may a physician become certified in addiction medicine?
  19. Does ABAM have Transitional Maintenance of Certification (Tmoc) Program?
  20. If I am already participating in an Tmoc program mandated by an ABMS board, do I still need to participate in the ABAM Tmoc Program?
  21. What is “grandfathering”?
  22. Why is grandfathering important?
  23. If a physician certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine does not currently hold a certification from an existing certification program authorized by the ABMS, will that physician be able to be grandfathered into ongoing certification status in addiction medicine, after the training program requirement is enforced?
  24. How may I find a doctor who is certified by ABAM in my area?
  25. May a diplomate say s/he is board certified?
  26. Are there accredited addiction medicine training programs?
  27. How do I find out more about individual residency programs?
  28. How do I find vacant residency or fellowship positions?
  29. Will the Addiction Medicine Residencies be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)?
  30. What are the benefits of ABAM Foundation accreditation for a training program?
  31. What is the duration of an ABAM Foundation-accredited residency?
  32. How many residents may train in a program?
  33. The ABAM Foundation Program Requirements say addiction medicine training programs must be sponsored by an “educational institution” (Intro B.3). Does that mean the sponsoring institution must be a medical school?
  34. If a sponsoring institution is not a medical school, does it have to have an affiliation with a medical school?
  35. Is it required that sponsoring institutions be already approved by the ACGME to offer graduate medical education?
  36. If an institution is listed by the ACGME as a “Single Program Institution,” can it be the sponsoring institution for a program seeking ABAM Foundation accreditation?
  37. The Program Requirements say the Program Director and physician faculty must be ABAM-certified or have acceptable specialty qualifications — what are some examples of the latter?
  38. The Program Requirements say Year 1 must include structured blocks of 12 clinical rotations (IV.A.3.a) (1). Does that mean there must be 12 distinct rotations offered consecutively, or are other formats permissible?
  39. In the Program Accreditation Application Form (PAAF), the instructions describe the Inpatient General Medical Facility rotation as a consultation service. Is it required that this be consultation, or could other types of inpatient experiences be offered?
  1. Appendix A. American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Definitions
  2. Appendix B. ABAM Policy on Potential Paths for ABMS Recognition
  3. Appendix C. American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Requirements For Recognition of a New Specialty

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.