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The American Board of Addiction Medicine Recognizes Addiction Medicine FAQ’s:

Q. Why is the ABAM certificate & exam going away if I am a DO?

A.  The ABAM certificate is not going away. Everybody who earned an ABAM certificate will still have an ABAM certificate that is perpetuated by ABAM Maintenance Of Certification (MOC).

The exam will not be given this year for anybody MD or DO.

Q. I feel that I am caught in limbo as I am osteopathically boarded and have an ABAM certificate.  My payers and clinics require addiction medicine certification. What to do?

A. You will still have a valid ABAM certificate to keep and submit. The AOAAM working with the American Osteopathic Association to present a "yet to be determined" vehicle that may offer osteopathic certification and recertification in addiction medicine.

Q.   Why isn't the AOA doing something to help DO physicians who will be denied eligibility by the ABMS?

A. The AOA met with AOAAM in January 2016 before the ABMS news was released. The AOA agreed that a pathway to serve osteopathic physicians displaced by the ABMS rules was a priority. The AOA and AOAAM agreed that any logistics and infrastructure to address addiction certification by the AOA needed to be rigorous and defendable.

AOAAM presented a resolution for submission at the AOA House of Delegates (HOD) to create or reopen the primary Certificate of Additional Qualification (CAQ) exams.  The AOA did not reject this resolution at their midterm meeting, but rather returned it to the Addiction Academy with questions for clarification and resubmission.

Q.   Why couldn't the organizations work this out ahead of time?
A. ABAM communicated this scenario in March to ABAM diplomates (ABAM does not have members) and the AOAAM. We had been projecting this scenario to members and AOA for the past few years.  Everyone needed to have the clock start with irreversible acceptance of Addiction Medicine by the ABMS.

ABAM is forwarding AOAAM the feedback from osteopathic physicians who have been ABAM certified but have questions because they are not ABMS boarded. There are approximately 900-1000 physicians with ABAM certification who will not be eligible for the ABMS Addiction Medicine subspecialty exam. (400 US MDs who do not have active ABMS certification, 300 Canadian MDs and 200-300 DOs).

If you have additional questions, please email them to AOAAM at


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