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Addiction Medicine Formally Recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) announced the recognition of addiction medicine (ADM) as a multispecialty subspecialty, open to diplomates of all ABMS member boards, on March 14, 2016.

While the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) functions as an independent certifying board, recognition of Addiction Medicine (ADM) by ABMS now identifies ADM as a specialized field of medical practice for which physicians may gain the highest level of certification and credentialing, commensurate with that of over 100 other primary and subspecialty medical fields that are recognized by ABMS. By ADM officially entering the ABMS "House of Medicine," opportunities for physicians to practice in this field, and for patients to receive care from them will be integrated into medical education and training, health care systems, payment structures and the broad practice of medicine. Thus the transition from independent board status to recognition of ADM within ABMS signals the integration of the prevention of and care for unhealthy substance use and addiction into mainstream medicine and health care. For more information about ABMS, visit their website:

The Addiction Medicine Foundation (TAMF) will continue to support the Maintenance of Certification Program for addiction medicine. The ABAM Directors are reviewing details of a "Transitional Maintenance of Certification" (ABAM TMOC) program that will be in finalized in the coming months. It is being designed in response to the possible transition of the ABMS’s current MOC model to a continuing assessment system to replace the Part III 10 year periodic exam. The American Board of Anesthesiology is currently piloting such a system ( In addition to a continuous testing cycle replacing the 10 year “re-certification” exam, this system is anticipated to be an improved self-assessment learning tool as well as more relevant and less expensive for the practicing physician. The ABAM MOC web portal is now being configured to reflect a new, less expensive ABAM MOC fee.

To read the Letter to Diplomates CLICK HERE
To read the FAQ please CLICK HERE
To read the full Press Release CLICK HERE

Transitional MOC Program Requirements

We strongly urge all of our diplomates to stay up-to-date with the current ABAM MOC requirements. ABAM leadership is working with ABPM to plan a smooth transition for addiction medicine MOC activities. Maintaining your ABAM MOC will likely be an eligibility requirement for ABAM diplomates who wish to utilize the qualifying pathway which ABPM is expected to offer to ABAM diplomates (consistent with past new subspecialty fields).

Pay Annual Fee

Licensure and Professionalism (Part I)
  • Diplomates must possess a valid, full, and unrestricted medical license.
Lifelong Learning and Self-assessment (Part II)
  • Each year Diplomates are required to complete 26 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ combined from Self-Assessment Modules, Recommended CME Activities, and Self-Reported activities.

    A. Self-Assessment Modules (SAM): 9 SAM Credits every Year

    This is completed by selecting 9 ABAM approved articles that are most clinically relevant to their practice. The list of articles and links to them can be found on the (TMOC web portal)

    A score of 75% or higher must be attained on the self-assessment for each article in order to pass that article and you will receive 1 CME for each successfully passed SAM. This will count towards the overall requirement of 26 AMA PRA Category 1 credits™

    B. Continuing Medical Education (CME): 17 additional CME credits every year

    In addition to the 9 SAMs, each Diplomate is required to complete at least 17 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ in Addiction Medicine every year.

    These may be earned by completing any combination of additional SAMs, ABAM Recommended CMEs, or Self-Reported CME activities.

Performance Improvement (Part IV)
  • Part 4 of the TMOC Program is in development and has not launched. Diplomates will participate in a range of ABAM-approved performance improvement projects designed to assess and improve the quality of patient care.