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New ASAM member category recognizes certified specialists

September 15, 2015
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Beginning with the 2016 membership year, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) for the first time will have a physician member category that specifically recognizes board-certified addiction specialists.

ASAM officially announced in August that the new Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (FASAM) member designation will be open to members who have been in ASAM for two consecutive years and are certified in addiction medicine by either the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) or the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). Valerie Evans, ASAM's director of membership and chapter relations, says an estimated 1,500 of ASAM's current 3,600 members could be eligible for this new membership designation, a category that she believes will help enhance member retention in the organization.

Up to this point, ASAM had used the title of “Fellow” for its judged award to signify individuals' significant contributions to addiction medicine. With the FASAM designation soon to be referring to a membership category in ASAM, the Fellow award (given every two years) will transition to that of “Distinguished Fellow” in 2016. The 2016 membership year for ASAM begins this Oct. 1.

In an August communication to ASAM members, ASAM president R. Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD, wrote that Fellow members will be entitled to use the FASAM designation after their name and to display the ASAM logo to represent their certification status as an addiction specialist.

Goldsmith wrote, “Physicians who update their member record and are eligible for the new Fellow member category will be granted the benefit of using the FASAM credential effective Jan. 1, 2016. If you are not eligible at this time for the Fellow member category, you will continue as a Regular Member and updating your profile will help us to determine your eligibility for future renewal cycles.”

More information about ASAM membership categories is available on the society's website. Other ASAM member categories recognize groups such as international members, early-career physicians, and medical residents.