Thank you to ACAAM's Volunteers

ACAAM would like to thank the more than 70 addiction medicine physicians who provided volunteer service to the organization in 2021. From service on the Board of Directors, Committees, an Task Forces, to serving as a leader of our new Recruitment Fair and other programs, these leaders served in a variety of ways and provided significant support to ACAAM as it continued its efforts to meet its mission.

As the year comes to a close, thank you for your ongoing efforts and continued support of the organization. And if you are an ACAAM member who would like to get involved in the organization, please feel free to share your interest with ACAAM staff by emailing [email protected].

ACAAM Honors Outgoing Board Members

At its December 2021 meeting, the ACAAM Board of Directors honored outgoing Board members who have spent significant time and provided tremendous effort to ensure the organization has been successful over the last decade plus.

These Board members were devoted stewards of both the American Board of Addiction Medicine and the several iterations of the organization that is today known as ACAAM. Their dedication and wisdom will be missed, but will not be lost, as they will be regularly called upon for advice and involvement.

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Announcing ACAAM’s New Officers

At its December meeting, ACAAM’s Board of Directors approved a slate of new officers for the organization, who officially take office on January 1, 2022, and serve in the roles through December 31, 2023.

The new officers include:

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Join ACAAM’s Anti-Racism/Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

ACAAM has an opportunity for members to share their interest in joining the organization’s Anti-Racism/Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee for 2022.

This opportunity will allow you to work with several accomplished and returning committee members to develop, implement, integrate, and support strategies and activities to achieve priority goals related to anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion and to create an equitable and welcoming environment within ACAAM.

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Addiction Medicine Advocacy Conference Registration Open

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) will be hosting the 2022 Addiction Medicine Advocacy Conference on March 7-8, 2022. This is a two-day virtual advocacy event. On the first day, attendees will receive training from expert advocacy professionals on issues important to the practice of addiction medicine and hear from key policymakers. Then, attendees will participate in carefully planned virtual Capitol Hill meetings to advance an ambitious policy agenda designed to support addiction treatment professionals as they treat patients and save lives.

ACAAM is honored to be a national advocacy partner for this Conference – along with the American College of Medical Toxicology, and the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine. We look forward to advancing addiction medicine together!

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Applications Closed for Pediatric Virtual Rotations

Update... 

The deadline has now passed for applications to the Boston Children’s Hospital Virtual Rotation for addiction medicine fellows.

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Introducing the ACAAM Career Center

In early November, ACAAM launched a brand-new member benefit—an online Career Center where employers can recruit qualified candidates and job seekers can find their next addiction medicine job opportunity!

For Employers
We encourage you to take advantage of this new member benefit and post your open positions on the ACAAM Career Center. If you are an ACAAM member, a posting for up to 90 days is only $100 (nonmembers pay $450). And for additional visibility, you can upgrade your posting to a featured listing for only $150 extra.

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Yale University’s 2021 Annual Meeting Fellow Lightning Round Presentation

During the June 2021 Annual Meeting’s Fellows Lightning Round session, Shawn Cohen, MD, presented “Simplifying Buprenorphine Microinduction in the Outpatient Setting.” Dr. Cohen is a second-year fellow in the Yale Program in Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Cohen’s presentation defined microinduction, described how his team explains it to partners and patients, and provided a few resources that may be used to aid its explanation. These resources include a Tweetorial that can be found in the presentation slides.

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Current Application Season Update

Even as the recruitment season for the 2022 academic year continues, Addiction Medicine fellowships are beginning to look toward the next application cycle. Two closely related themes top the agenda: getting the word out to potential candidates and improving the process for applicants and fellowships alike.

At the latest ACAAM Virtual Town Hall on November 18, program directors, faculty, and coordinators gathered to begin discussing next steps. The meeting came exactly one month after the offer period for 2022 positions opened for most fellowships participating in the Common Decision Date. The Common Date plan provided a 3-month window of “protected time” so applicants could fully explore their options and programs could complete interviews before offers started.

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Fellowship’s Impact Recognized in News

The MAHEC Addiction Medicine Fellowship is relatively new, but it’s already having an impact in rural North Carolina and beyond, according to a story on ABC-affiliate WLOS in Asheville (https://wlos.com/news/local/addiction-medicine-fellowship-program-aims-to-improve-access-to-care-in-rural-western-nc). The story features current fellow and family physician Kendrick White, MD. The MAHEC fellowship and many others are still taking applications for July 2022 fellowship positions – Read More.

Behind the Scenes of the ACAAM National Addiction Medicine Didactic Curriculum

How ACAAM Established a Weekly, Fellowship-Run, Conflict-of-Interest-Free Addiction Medicine Curriculum

The ACAAM National Addiction Medicine Didactic Curriculum is a weekly, fellowship-run didactic experience for addiction medicine fellows and faculty. The curriculum sessions are now in their second year, having launched at the beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year. Each week, dozens of addiction medicine fellowship program faculty and fellows convene for live Zoom sessions and to hear an expert speak on different addiction medicine topics. The topics are mapped to the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM) addiction medicine exam blueprint as well as the ACGME medical competencies. In addition to faculty and fellows, sessions are open to all health care professionals and trainees interested in expanding their education about treating and assessing patients with substance use disorders.

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Expanding Addiction Medicine Education Beyond A Traditional Fellowship: Local and National Endeavors

During the June 2021 Annual Meeting’s Fellows Lightning Round session, Nicholas Chien, MD presented “Expanding Addiction Medicine Education Beyond A Traditional Fellowship: Local and National Endeavors.” Dr. Chien is a 2021 graduate of Rush University Medical Center’s addiction medicine fellowship program.

Dr. Chien’s presentation highlights three educational endeavors that addiction medicine fellows can participate in throughout their fellowship. From online courses and webinars to cross-institutional collaborations, these local and national endeavors are what make the addiction medicine fellowship a platform for educational excellence.

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Many Fellowships to Continue Taking Applications

With the offer period for 2022-23 fellowship positions now open, a number of fellowships are expected to continue taking applications on a rolling basis until they have filled. We will post a Recruitment Directory indicating which programs these are as soon as we receive updates from the fellowships later this week.

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Offers Begin October 18 for 2022-23 Fellowship Positions

Fellowship candidates should be aware that 48-hour response deadlines will be the norm when the majority of programs begin making offers for 2022-23 positions on October 18 at 7:00 PM Eastern. Guidance for candidates and fellowships alike is available under the Fellowship Resource Center.

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ACAAM Fellowship Program Member Feature: University of Wisconsin

ACAAM recently sat down with Randall Brown, MD PhD, Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Dr. Brown is also the University of Wisconsin’s Addiction Medicine Fellowship program director, having established the program in 2010 and overseen its initial accreditation in 2011.  

Dr. Brown has played an important role in the evolution of addiction medicine and ACAAM. He served on the committee that wrote the Program Requirements in 2016–17 that were adopted by ACGME, and he was President of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship Directors Association in 2018 during the period that led to the establishment of ACAAM. 

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ACAAM Fellowship Program Member Feature: University of Minnesota Addiction Medicine

ACAAM recently had the pleasure of interviewing Sheila Specker, MD, one of the longest-tenured addiction medicine program directors in the country.

Dr. Specker is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota where she practices as an addiction psychiatrist in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences. She is also the director of the University of Minnesota’s Addiction Medicine Fellowship, which trains physicians of all specialties in addiction and co-occurring psychiatric disorders. Dr. Specker chaired the committee that wrote the program requirements in 2016–2017 that were ultimately adopted by ACGME.

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Inaugural ACAAM Resident Recruitment Fair a Success

The first ACAAM Virtual Addiction Medicine Training Recruitment Fair was held September 14, with residents from around the country meeting addiction medicine fellowships and learning about the specialty from a panel of program directors.

Thirty-nine addiction medicine fellowships participated in the event, which featured virtual breakout “tables” where interested residents could visit with fellowships one-on-one.

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ACAAM Partners with Other Addiction Medicine Organizations to Hold National Addiction Treatment Week October 18–24

When patients are treated appropriately by medical professionals trained in addiction medicine, we can save lives and improve treatment outcomes. With that goal in mind, National Addiction Treatment Week has been created to raise awareness about the critical gap between the number of patients who need addiction treatment and their access to qualified medical professionals trained to provide evidence-based, specialty treatment. It also highlights the urgent need for clinicians to enter the field of addiction medicine and expand the qualified workforce. We hope you will join the week and our efforts to close the treatment gap and save lives.

This year’s theme is focused on inspiring the next generation.

This year, Addiction Treatment Week will focus on encouraging the next generation of clinicians and providers to learn more about addiction, evidence-based treatment, and career paths in the field of addiction medicine. Physicians who are board-certified in addiction medicine and clinicians who treat addiction daily will share why they chose to treat addiction and inspire medical students, residents, and fellows to join them in learning more about evidence-based addiction treatment.

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Outpatient Buprenorphine Microinduction for Pain “A Safe Method to Transition High-Risk Patients”

During the June 2021 Annual Meeting’s Fellows Lightning Round session, Bhavna Bali, MD, a 2021 graduate of the Interdisciplinary Addiction Medicine Fellowship at Penn State College of Medicine, shared her research titled Outpatient Buprenorphine Microinduction for Pain “A Safe Method to Transition High-Risk Patients.”

After reviewing the basics of microdosing buprenorphine, Dr. Bali’s presentation focused on a specific case where a high-risk patient on high-dose opioids was transitioned to suboxone for pain management. The patient in question had been diagnosed with Physiological Opioid Dependence with a high risk of developing Opioid Use Disorder.

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Three Interventions to Combat Microaggressions

During the 2021 ACAAM Annual Meeting, the organization’s Anti-Racism/Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee presented a session titled "Moving Beyond Kneeling: Promoting an Anti-Racist and Racial Justice Framework within Academic Addiction Medicine Fellowships."

During the session, the committee discussed the prevalence of microaggressions, and provided three tools that can be used to help combat them as they occur. These examples were related to specific scenarios discussed during the session, whose Powerpoint slides can be downloaded here for context.

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