ABPM Practice Pathway Sunsetting
By: Chwen-Yuen Angie Chen, MD, FACP, FASAM, Communications Committee Chair
In 2025, that’s only two more years from now, the American Board of Preventive Medicine – Addiction Medicine Practice Pathway Certification process will sunset. In 2026, board certification in Addiction Medicine will require ACGME accredited fellowship training.
For your reference, below is the information provided directly from the ABPM website and we hope you plan accordingly if you intend on becoming board certified in addiction medicine through this practice pathway. As part of your preparation resource, CSAM continues to offer their popular annual Board Review Course at their Scientific Meetings, the next one will be held in San Diego from August 30-September 2, 2023. Seating is limited and super early bird registration at a discount is available until April 24: Register for the Annual Review Course Here
Direct from American Board of Preventive Medicine:
“Practice Pathway* (open through 2025)
The practice pathway is the mechanism for physicians to meet eligibility requirements for certification in Addiction Medicine without completing an ACGME-accredited fellowship in Addiction Medicine. Additional requirements include either minimum time in practice or completion of non-ACGME-accredited fellowship training in Addiction Medicine.
Two options are available in the Practice Pathway:
- Time in Practice: Applicants must submit documentation of a minimum of 1,920 hours in which they were engaged in the practice of Addiction Medicine at the subspecialty level; this minimum of 1920 hours must occur over at least 24 of the previous 60 months prior to application. The minimum of 24 months of practice time need not be continuous; however, all practice time must have occurred in the five-year period preceding June 30 of the application year. Practice must consist of broad-based professional activity with significant Addiction Medicine responsibility. Applicants must also demonstrate a minimum of 25% (or 480 hours) as Direct Patient Care. Addiction Medicine practice outside of direct patient care, such as research, administration, and teaching activities, may count for a combined maximum of 75% (or 1440 hours). Only 25% (480 hours) of general practice can count towards the required hours for the Practice Pathway, and the remaining 75% must be specific Addiction Medicine practice. Fellowship activity that is less than 12 months in duration or non-ACGME accredited may be applied toward the practice activity requirement. The actual training must be described for any fellowship activity. Documentation of Addiction Medicine teaching, research and administration activities, as well as clinical care or prevention of, or treatment of, individuals who are at risk for or have a substance use disorder may be considered.
- Non-Accredited Fellowship Training: Credit for completion of training in a non-ACGME-accredited Addiction Medicine fellowship program may be substituted for the Time in Practice option in i) above. The applicant must have successfully completed an Addiction Medicine fellowship of at least 12 months that is acceptable to the American Board of Preventive Medicine. The fellowship training curriculum as well as a description of the actual training experience must also be submitted. Fellowship training of less than 12 months may be applied towards the Time in Practice hour requirements of the Practice Pathway. The non-ACGME-accredited fellowships are those currently accredited through the American College of Academic Addiction Medicine (ACAAM), formerly known as The Addiction Medicine Foundation (TAMF).
Documents and Verifications
- Medical License Verification (ABPM will confirm after application)
- Current ABMS Board Certification Verification (ABPM will confirm after application)
- Practice and Training Verification, if using practice activity
- Fellowship Verification, if using credit from a fellowship
- 1 Letter of Reference from a physician who is certified by one of the ABMS Member Boards
*The Addiction Medicine Practice Pathway will expire in 2025. Beginning in 2026, all applicants for certification in Addiction Medicine must successfully complete an ACGME-accredited Addiction Medicine fellowship program. This subspecialty certifying exam will be given annually throughout this period.”