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FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions

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?

For planning purposes, the Program Requirements were written with a four-week block system in mind (yielding 12 rotation blocks plus 1 vacation/CME block), but that format is not mandatory. What is required is that programs offer a total of 2,080 hours, composed of:

  • 960 hours of core rotations (480 hours of that must be in outpatient chemical dependency, 320 hours in inpatient chemical dependency, and 160 hours in a general inpatient medical facility),
  • 480 hours of program-specific rotations,
  • 480 hours of electives, and
  • 160 hours of vacation/CME.

Programs are given flexibility in how they structure their rotations to meet these requirements. In Scenario 1 (below), 12 block rotations are offered, while in Scenario 2, the hourly requirements are met by a mix of 10 block and longitudinal rotations. Programs may also use a calendar-month system, if they wish, so long as they meet the hourly requirements. Strictly speaking, the minimum number of rotations is five:

  1. Outpatient chemical dependency,
  2. Inpatient chemical dependency,
  3. Inpatient general medical facility,
  4. Program-specific, and
  5. Elective rotations.

A program with a limited number of rotations, of course, would have to be carefully designed to provide the trainee with the competencies described in the ABAM Foundation‟s Compendium of Educational Objectives and Core Content of Addiction 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.