Practitioner Resources

FAQ’s for Trainees

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What is Addiction Psychiatry?
Addiction Psychiatry focuses on the evaluation and treatment of individuals with substance use disorders, which frequently co-occur with other psychiatric and medical disorders.

What is the educational pathway to becoming an addiction psychiatrist?
Addiction Psychiatry is a subspecialty of psychiatry. Following general psychiatry residency training, Addiction Psychiatrists complete a one- or two-year fellowship in addiction psychiatry. One year fellowships focus on clinical training. Two year fellowships focus on clinical and research training. A list of ACGME accredited fellowships can be found, here.

Are addiction psychiatrists “board certified”?
The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties, governs the certification of the subspecialty of addiction psychiatry. Candidates for Addiction Psychiatry subspecialty certification must: 1) complete an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited general psychiatry training program; 2) complete an ACGME addiction psychiatry training program; 3) obtain board certification in psychiatry prior to taking the addiction psychiatry certification examination from the ABPN; and 4) pass the addiction psychiatry certification examination from the ABPN.

What are the differences between “addiction medicine” and the subspecialty of Addiction Psychiatry?
Subspecialty board certification in Addiction Psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) is an officially recognized specialty designation by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) is the professional organization responsible for the accreditation residency education programs in the U.S. for ABMS specialty and subspecialty areas of medicine. Addiction psychiatry training programs are governed by the ACGME and graduates are eligible for ABPN subspecialty certification in addiction psychiatry.
The American Board of Addiction Medicine is not a member of the ABMS and training programs are not governed by the ACGME.

Why choose Addiction Psychiatry as a career?
The practice of Addiction Psychiatry affords opportunities in clinical, research, and administrative career development.

What role can the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry play in my career?
The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) is the only professional organization in the US focused on the subspecialty of Addiction Psychiatry and is an educational and knowledge resource for members and the general public. AAAP’s annual meeting is a great way to obtain knowledge and training, as well as network with Addiction Psychiatrists from across the US. AAAP provides members with training activities for Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credit towards addiction psychiatry board recertification. AAAP offers educational products for clinicians and trainees at all stages of training.

What would an addiction fellowship add in terms of job opportunities?
The addiction field in general and in particular Addiction Psychiatry are in need of expert physicians, several faculty and staff-physician positions for addiction psychiatry remain open for several months or more every year and some go unfilled for more due to the high demand and mow number of specialized physicians relative to other sub-specialties.

Are their resources for Addiction Psychiatrists to refer once they are in their own practices?
Yes, there are many resources available to practicing Addiction Psychiatrist. One such resource is Professional Risk Management Services, Inc. Go to www.prms.com to learn more.