Applicants holding certification by ABAM must meet the medical licensure and ABMS certification requirements to be considered for the Addiction Medicine subspecialty examination.
Applicants determined by ABAM as being current ABAM diplomates will received from ABAM documentation of that status and this documentation will be submitted to ABPM as part of the application process. This ABAM documentation of status will be used to meet the required attestation of clinical competence.
All ABAM certificants will be required to apply for and take the examination, with one exception.
For individuals who passed the 2015 ABAM examination and who, upon review of their application, meet all ABPM requirements, the examination will be waived and certification will be conferred following usual procedures, with an effective date of January 1st of 2018 for applicants in 2017. This waiver applies only to individuals who passed the 2015 ABAM examination and who meet the other eligibility requirements. This exception, for 2015 ABAM certificants only, will be available for applications submitted during the current Practice Pathway period.
While the ABPM supports the commitment to lifelong learning embodied in MOC, the ABPM has no requirements for maintaining certification through any non-ABMS Member Board.
The Addiction Medicine requirements and features of continuous certification are being developed and will likely closely parallel those of other ABPM subspecialties. These include a ten-year certification cycle length, a valid and unrestricted license to practice in all jurisdictions in which one is licensed, lifelong learning in ABPM approved activities, successful participation in a secure examination, and verification of improvement in practice, i.e., the four parts of continuous certification.
Time spent working as the primary decision-maker, providing direct patient care in the specialty practice of Addiction Medicine counts toward the Practice Pathway. Practice Pathway settings may include: office-based opioid treatment program prescribing buprenorphine; working in a methadone maintenance clinic, providing medically managed withdrawal treatment from alcohol, sedatives, opioids, or other substances; hospital-based addiction consultation services (consultation-liaison service); medical director of a residential addiction treatment program; and other settings
Non-compensated or volunteer work will count towards the total required practice time, as long as the candidate is functioning as the primary decision maker – providing direct patient care. Time spent just observing (shadowing) without primary decisionmaking for patient care does not count towards the 1920 hours. These activities must be verified with appropriate documentation/letters of support.
Addiction Medicine practice outside of direct patient care – including: research and/or administration and/or teaching activities – may count for a combined maximum of 25% (or 480 hours) of the total required practice time of 1920 hours. Documentation of work in these areas will require submission of product or independent verification of activity, such as: published paper, list of lectures, etc.
No, observation or “shadowing”—even in the specialty of Addiction Medicine—without “hands-on” patient care for which you are the primary provider, does not count towards fulfilling the requirements for the Practice Pathway. An observership without being responsible for the direct care of the patient as the attending physician is similar to being a trainee. Only direct patient care specifically in Addiction Medicine for which you are the primary provider counts towards the 1920 hours required for the Practice Pathway.
ABPM does not provide credit for any time spent in a residency. Electives may not count towards the practice path.
Please honestly report the number of hours spent during that month in direct patient care, administration, or research during this experience.
ABPM does not provide credit for any time spent in non-addiction medicine fellowships. Electives may not count towards the practice pathway
Applicants who have completed existing fellowships that are not ACGME accredited will be given consideration by the ABPM through the Practice Pathway.
Credit for completion of training in a non-ACGME accredited fellowship program may be substituted for the Practice Time Requirement. The applicant must have successfully completed an Addiction Medicine fellowship of at least 12 months that is acceptable to the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Fellowship training of less than 12 months may be applied towards the Time in Practice hour requirements of the Practice Pathway.
The fellowship training curriculum as well as a description of the actual training experience must also be submitted for final approval by the Board.
While the ABPM supports the commitment to lifelong learning embodied in CME/MOC activities, initial subspecialty certification through the ABPM requires no CME/MOC documentation. CME credit—even in the specialty of Addiction Medicine—does not count towards fulfilling the requirements for the Practice Pathway. The required 1920 hours may only consist of direct patient care, specifically in Addiction Medicine.
No, the letter for documentation and verification of Addiction Medicine Practice for the Practice Pathway cannot be written by a practice partner, even one certified in Addiction Medicine. The verification letter must come from an independent supervising physician, such as a Chief of Staff, Department Chair, or Fellowship Director. If there is no independent supervising physician that meets these criteria, then the applicant must provide documentation for consideration by ABPM of the credentials of the individual to provide the letter of verification for the applicant. The ABPM will make the final determination of the suitability of the individual to provide the letter of verification.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has approved the accreditation of fellowships in the subspecialty of Addiction Medicine. The specific requirements for the ACGME-accredited fellowships in Addiction Medicine are currently under development. Institutions seeking ACGME accreditation for Addiction Medicine fellowships should contact the ACGME and follow their requirements.
A physician who has voluntarily entered into a rehabilitation program for chemical dependency/addiction/substance use disorder or a practice improvement plan with the approval of a state medical board shall not be considered to have a restriction on his/her license to practice medicine for the purposes of applying to ABPM for certification in Addiction Medicine. This would not prevent the physician from applying to ABPM for certification in Addiction Medicine.
A physician’s license shall be deemed restricted if, as a result of final action by a state or other legally constituted medical board, the physician is subject to special conditions or requirements that are still in effect, regardless of whether the restrictions are imposed by the state medical board or the result of a voluntary agreement between the physician and the state medical board. This physician’s application would not be accepted by ABPM due to a restriction on the medical license.