“Completing an Addiction Psychiatry fellowship was the best educational experience of my life and my involvement in AAAP was critical in deciding to pursue fellowship training and identifying the best program for my career goals. Now that I am a program director, AAAP continues to provide me with invaluable resources including fellow recruitment events, innovative evidence-based educational materials, and opportunities to collaborate with leaders in the field of Addiction Psychiatry education.”
—Michael Hoefer, MD, Chair, Education Committee
Applying to Addiction Psychiatry Fellowships
The majority of Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Programs will be utilizing the electronic residency application service (ERAS) for recruitment for the fellowship class starting July 1st, 2022.
Applicants may submit their application to the ERAS service starting July 1st, 2021
For more information on the application process please visit individual programs websites and the ERAS website.
Here is a list of programs who will be utilizing ERAS for recruitment.
If you are interested in applying to a program that will not be utilizing ERAS for recruitment please reach out to the program directly to discuss the details of their application process.
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. Psychiatrists who are trained in addiction are in a unique position to identify concurrent psychiatric and substance use problems in individuals seeking treatment for either or both conditions. Given the reciprocal impact of psychiatric and substance use disorders upon one another, there is a critical need for specialists trained in the diagnosis and treatment of both conditions.
What is Addiction Psychiatry?
Addiction Psychiatry is an official subspecialty of general psychiatry. The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Inc. certification for Addiction Psychiatry began in 1993. The ABPN is one of 24 member boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS). ABPN offers certification in the subspecialty of Addiction Psychiatry to physicians who have completed accredited residency programs in general psychiatry. To sit for the addiction psychiatry boards, fellows are required to submit documentation of successful completion of an ACGME-approved fellowship training in Addiction Psychiatry beginning no sooner than the PGY-V level. Applicants can obtain information and application procedures for the Addiction Psychiatry boards from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology by calling 847-945-7900 or visiting the ABPN Web site.
What is the educational pathway to becoming an Addiction Psychiatrist?
Addiction Psychiatry is a subspecialty of psychiatry that requires completion of a one-year full-time ACGME-accredited fellowship program. After general psychiatry residency training, psychiatrists are eligible to complete a one-year full-time Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship or a part-time program for up to two years. Some two-year fellowships allow additional training in addiction research. A list of ACGME accredited fellowships can be found on Fellowships & Programs.
Are Addiction Psychiatrists board certified?
The American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN), a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), 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 and similarities between the subspecialties of Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry?
Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry are the sister medical specialties that focus on the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with substance-related and addictive disorders. Therefore, there is significant overlap between these two medical sub-specialties in terms of patients and organizations served, clinical policies and guideline development efforts, and local and national advocacy interests. There are some significant structural and organizational differences, though, between the two subspecialties that are worth describing. Addiction Psychiatry became an ABMS subspecialty in the U.S. in 1993, and since that time board-certified/eligible psychiatrists have been eligible to undertake fellowship training through any of the now 47 Addiction Psychiatry fellowships. Upon completion of an Addiction Psychiatry fellowship, candidates are then eligible to sit for the ABPN-administered board examination in Addiction Psychiatry to obtain board certification. The subspecialty of Addiction Medicine, on the other hand, was officially recognized by ABMS and ACGME in 2017. Physicians with primary certification from any ABMS board (internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics-gynecology, etc.) are eligible to take the Addiction Medicine board exam, which is now administered by the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM). Physicians who meet certain practice eligibility requirements or who have maintained “American Board of Addiction Medicine diplomate status” are eligible to achieve subspecialty certification through ABPM through 2021, after which time only those who complete an ACGME accredited Addiction Medicine fellowship will be eligible for the ABPM board exam. Some addiction-focused psychiatrists have chosen to be boarded in BOTH addiction psychiatry and addiction medicine, and many physicians regardless of primary training remain active in professional organizations that serve both specialties (e.g., AAAP and ASAM). While it may be academic to parse out given the similarities and shared goals stated above, addiction psychiatry nonetheless maintains a professional identity that centers on the diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring mental illness and substance-related and addictive disorders, and thus AAAP strongly encourages psychiatrists to consider completing an Addiction Psychiatry fellowship program.
Why choose Addiction Psychiatry as a career?
The practice of Addiction Psychiatry affords opportunities in clinical, research, and administrative career development. Growing sophistication in our understanding of the factors that contribute to substance misuse and use disorders has led to therapeutic strategies tailored to specific subgroups of those who misuse substances. Novel pharmacological strategies have been developed and are being implemented to target individuals for whom affective, attentional or anxiety symptoms pose a particular vulnerability to the development of a substance use disorder. Further, a career in Addiction Psychiatry affords ample opportunities. The shortage of specialists in addiction treatment has increased clinical and administrative job opportunities in both public and private sectors, and other areas of clinical psychiatry. Child and adolescent, consultation-liaison, geriatric, and forensic psychiatric practices have a growing interest in incorporating addiction subspecialists. These opportunities are also abundant in research, as federal funding for translational research in the field of addiction has increased in recent years, with a particular focus on treatment and health services and delivery. Perhaps most compelling is that, like the treatment of other psychiatric disorders, clinical interventions for substance use disorders are effective, with data showing that treatment promotes improvements in social functioning and psychological and physical health. These outcomes make the clinical work tremendously rewarding.
What role can the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry play in my career?
AAAP is the only professional organization in the U.S. 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 U.S. 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 Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS). Go to pcssNOW.org to learn more.
How can I find an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship program?
The ACGME maintains a complete list of accredited programs along with each program’s relevant contact information. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) Clearinghouse also maintains a list of vacant psychiatry residency and fellowship positions, which may be particularly helpful for those starting a program off-cycle.
"Talking with addiction specialists during residency sparked my interest in the field even though my training/exposure in addiction was limited while in residency. I think I first started becoming interested in furthering my experience in the field when a mentor told me "No one enjoys this lifestyle, everyone who suffers from addiction hates their addiction, but it is so powerful they don't know how to beat it." This opened my eyes to a population of people who are constantly blamed and shamed for their disease and sent away from ERs and hospitals because of inexperience in how to treat addiction and lack of resources. I knew then I was interested in furthering my experience in the area and doing what I could to help this special population."
– Heather Oxentine, MD, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow 2016- 2017, Emory University
"Because I sought out come extra addiction experiences in residency, I was unsure what to expect from addiction psychiatry fellowship. I could not have imagined how much more confident I would feel in providing high quality care to patients with addictions. The opportunity across clinical settings to see so many patients who vary in background, culture, and SUD severity under supervision from experts was invaluable to putting these disorders in their proper context alongside other mental illnesses. I am extremely grateful I decided to do an addiction psychiatry fellowship."
- Dave Marcovitz, MD, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow 2017-2018, Partners HealthCare
"During residency training I developed a particular interest in treating patients with substance use disorders. An addiction psychiatry fellowship provided me with the clinical skills to treat very complicated cases in a way that was comprehensive and collaborative. I learned not only about pharmacotherapy that could be useful in treatment, but also about multiple psychotherapy modalities, and perhaps most importantly, how to serve as an advocate for my patients - with their employers, families, and other clinicians. As an early-career addiction psychiatrist, I now utilize these skills to advocate for the effective treatment of patients with substance use disorders in all clinical settings, provide education and support for colleagues, and gain a better understanding of cultural and gender differences in the treatment of addiction."
- Caridad Ponce Martinez, MD, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow 2015-2016, Yale School of Medicine
"What I find most rewarding about treating patients with substance use disorders is treating them as whole and unique individuals. I believe that the added consideration for emotional, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of the individual are key to understanding and treating substance use disorders. My addiction psychiatry fellowship has allowed me to gain invaluable experience and training for treating patients with complex addictive disorders within psychiatric and psychological contexts. The additional time after residency was time well-spent in gaining a better understanding of these complex disorders, and where they fit into the biopsychosocial model."
– Derek Blevins, MD, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow (T32), 2017-2019, Columbia University
"It became clear to me during residency training that I wanted to work with the substance using population and that I was 'good enough' to treat substance use disorders (SUD) even without fellowship training. I decided to pursue the additional subspecialty training because I knew “good enough” is not sufficient. In fellowship, I sought qualified supervision and rich exposure to complex cases, unusual presentations, rare and experimental substances or complicated comorbidities. I wanted to develop a proficiency in understanding the nuances in presentation and the complexities of SUD treatment. I also benefited from working with leaders in the field who advise lawmakers and government agencies, and was exposed to their work shaping addiction related policies."
– Elie G. Aoun MD, Addiction Psychiatry Fellow, 2016-2017, University California, San Francisco
As of 12/31/2019, there is an estimated 1,164 active, Board certified Addiction Psychiatrists.
|Program Name||Funded Fellow positions|
|Albert Einstein College of Medicine||3|
|Baylor College of Medicine Program||2|
|Boston University Medical Center Program||4|
|Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Program||3|
|Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center Program Medical Center Program||3|
|Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center||2|
|Emory University School of Medicine Program||3|
|Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Beth Israel) Program||3|
|Indiana University School of Medicine Program||5|
|ISOM/Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Roosevelt||3|
|Jackson Memorial Hospital/Jackson Health System Program||3|
|Louisiana State University School of Medicine||1|
|Massachusetts General Hospital/McLean Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital Program||3|
|Mayo Clinic College of Medicine||1|
|McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University Program||1|
|Medical College of Wisconsin Affiliated Hospitals||2|
|Medical University of South Carolina Program||3|
|New York Presbyterian Hospital (Columbia Campus)/New York State Psychiatric Institute Program||6|
|New York University School of Medicine Program||5|
|Oregon Health & Science University Program||2|
|Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services||2|
|Ponce Health Sciences University Program||1|
|SUNY Upstate Medical University Program||2|
|UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine/UCLA Medical Center Program||2|
|UCLA-Kern Medical Center Program||2|
|UCLA-San Fernando Valley Psychiatry Training Program||4|
|University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Program||1|
|University of California, San Diego||2|
|University of California (San Francisco) Program||3|
|University of Cincinnati Medical Center/College of Medicine Program||2|
|University of Colorado Program||3|
|University of Hawaii Program||4|
|University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago Program||2|
|University of Kansas School of Medicine Program||2|
|University of Louisville Program||2|
|University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Program||4|
|University of Massachusetts Program||2|
|University of Michigan Program||2|
|University of Minnesota Program||2|
|University of New Mexico Program||2|
|University of Pennsylvania Program||4|
|University of South Florida Morsani Program||2|
|University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School Program||2|
|University of Texas Southwestern Medical School Program||5|
|University of Utah Program||2|
|University of Washington Program||3|
|University of Wisconsin Program||2|
|UPMC Medical Education Program||2|
|Yale-New Haven Medical Center Program||8|
|The Zucker Hillside Hospital||2|