Certification Matters

Clinical pathway to addiction medicine certification to be developed

Initial steps taken to meet DO demand for addiction medicine certification to combat substance use disorder epidemic.

AOA Certifying Board Services is beginning work to establish a clinical pathway to board certification in addiction medicine.

The AOA entered into a cost-sharing agreement with the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM) to start the process of opening the clinical practice pathway for initial osteopathic board certification in addiction medicine.

The move comes after the AOA House of Delegates adopted the Addiction Medicine CAQ resolution (H-232/A/2019) during its Annual Business Meeting in July. The resolution calls for a clinical practice pathway to be developed and approved by the AOA conjoint examination committee in addiction medicine. When complete, the pathway will remain open for three years following the administration of the first exam.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration agree that there is a severe shortage of addiction medicine specialists to treat the nation’s epidemic of opioid and alcohol addictions.

In response to this need, the AOA is committed to credentialing skilled physicians in the area of addiction medicine who can help meet the demand for high-quality healthcare among patients with substance use disorder, said AOA President Ron Burns, DO.

“Addiction is disrupting the lives of millions, with far-reaching impacts on their families and their communities. Osteopathic physicians are eager to bring our whole-person approach to treating substance abuse disorder, helping to heal the minds, bodies and spirits of patients facing this struggle,” Dr. Burns said.

In April, AOA partnered with the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine to survey more than 20,000 practicing physicians across the full spectrum of specialties and practice stages. Survey results indicated a strong level of interest in a pathway for certification in addiction medicine.

Further reading:

Treating opioid addiction shouldn’t leave physicians, patients feeling criminal

5 things to know about naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal drug

4 comments

  1. Great news! I have been practicing in addiction medicine for the last 4 years, and have been discouraged by the fact that the board overseeing current addiction medicine board certification does not recognize my training in an osteopathic med school nor board certification by AOBIM.

  2. I am board certified in family practice. Recently opened a private office in Battle Creek, MI. I do prescribe some narcotics. Am looking for certification, if possible , in addiction medicine. What steps do I need to take to do this?? Will it be online classes? Or how will this be accomplished?

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