Eighteen institutions now host accredited fellowship programs offering subspecialty training to physicians in addiction medicine, with this week’s announcement of eight new accredited programs by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) Foundation. The latest additions mean that 47 addiction medicine fellowship slots are now available, though that number still falls well short of projected need for addiction medicine specialists in an evolving healthcare system.
“Our workforce projections suggest that, by 2020, we will need 50 addiction medicine fellowship training programs with 200 physician slots,” Richard Blondell, MD, chair of the ABAM Foundation’s Training and Accreditation Committee, said in a news release from the foundation. “One of the main obstacles to establishing these programs is funding.”
The accredited fellowship programs offer subspecialty training to physicians already trained in a specialty such as internal medicine, psychiatry or preventive medicine. Industry developments such as the growth in medication-assisted treatment options and the promise of newly insured patients under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have a signaled a need for more substance use-specific training for medical professionals.
These are the sites of the newly accredited fellowship programs:
· The Betty Ford Center/Eisenhower Medical Center, Rancho Mirage, Calif.
· Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto.
· Hartford Hospital, Hartford, Conn. (Rushford program).
· St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Mich.
· St. Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia.
· St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Cleveland.
· Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, Calif.
· Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.
While the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology offers fellowships in the psychiatric subspecialty of addiction psychiatry, there is still an overall lack of training of medical professionals in addiction-related topics, according to the ABAM Foundation. For example, there are currently no addiction medicine residencies among the hospital residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, although the ABAM Foundation does plan in the future to seek that organization’s accreditation for its fellowships.