ABAM Certification

What the "CERTIFIED BY ASAM/ABAM" Designation Means...

Certification by the American Board of Addiction Medicine Stands for the highest standard in Addiction Medicine, and has meant that ABAM-certified physicians have demonstrated - to their peers and to the public - that they have the clinical judgment, skills and attitudes essential for the delivery of excellent patient care. It also indicates that an Addiction Medicine physician has met the clinical and educational criteria to be eligible to sit for a rigorous six hour written examination, and has successfully passed the examination. In order to maintain this certification, the physician must continue to participate in CME courses and other activities, and must periodically retake an examination to document that his or her knowledge and skills are up-to-date. There are currently several thousand valid certificates in Addiction Medicine.

For more information on the American Board of Addiction Medicine click here.

Here is a more detailed description of the requirements for certification

While the final step in the process of certification in Addiction Medicine is the successful completion of a written examination, there are certain eligibility requirements which must be met in order to sit for the examination. The requirements and the criteria for meeting them are established by the Board of Directors of ABAM.

Eligibility can be established only after the review of a completed application by the Credentialing Committee. Applicants must meet each of the following six criteria in order to be accepted to sit for the ABAM certification examination given on December 11, 2010:

1. Licensure: A valid license to practice medicine in the state, territory, commonwealth, or possession of the United States or in a Province of Canada in which the applicant practices; valid at the time of application and at the time of the examination. A valid medical license is a certificate to practice medicine which is issued by the appropriate agency and which certifies that a physician is allowed to practice medicine within that country, province or state. ABAM considers a medical license to be valid even if there have been stipulations/conditions placed on the license. ABAM does not consider a license to be valid if it has been suspended, revoked, or surrendered.

2. Medical Education: Graduation from a medical school in the United States or Canada approved by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), or the Committee of Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS), or from a school of osteopathic medicine approved by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). If the applicant is a graduate of a medical school outside the United States or Canada, the applicant must have a currently valid standard certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG); or have passed the Medical Council of Canada Evaluating Examination (MCCEE).

3. Board Certification and Residency Requirements: This requirement must be completed by June 30th, 2010. M.D.s. - Certification by a Member-Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), OR successful completion of a residency training program in any medical specialty. Residency programs must be accredited by one of the following:

-The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)

-The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or

-The Professional Corporation of Physicians of Quebec.

- Residency programs accepted by any Member Board of the American Board of Medical Specialties as qualifying to sit for that Member Board's certification examination will be accepted as qualifying to sit for the ABAM Certification Examination. D.O.s. - Certification by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), OR completion of a residency training program in any medical specialty.

4. Full Time Equivalent: This requirement must be completed by June 30, 2010. One year's fulltime involvement or one full-time equivalent (1 FTE) in the field of alcoholism and other drug dependencies in addition to, and not concurrent with, residency training. One Full Time Equivalent is equal to at least 1920 hours over the last 10 years in teaching, research, administration, and clinical care of the prevention of as well as treatment of individuals who are at risk for or have a substance use disorder. At least 400 of these hours should have been spent in direct clinical care of patients. Hours used to meet the requirement must have been accrued between June 30, 2000 and June 30, 2010.

5. Life Long Learning: 50 hours of Category I Credit toward the AMA Physician Recognition Award. Credits must have pertained to the diagnosis and treatment of persons with alcoholism and other drug dependencies and must have been accrued over the two years immediately prior to the date of the examination. (Canadian or osteopathic equivalent accepted.) The next examination will be given on December 11, 2010.

6. Professional Standing Good standing in the applicant's medical community as evidenced by at least one letter of recommendation by an ABAM or ASAM-Certified Physician, your Chief of Staff, or your Chief of Service.