The introduction of the first nationally accredited residency programs in addition medicine, which began on July 1, demonstrates a change in thinking about the roots of addiction, experts tell The New York Times. The first group of medical residents will start training in 10 newly accredited addiction medicine residencies around the country.
The residencies demonstrate that addiction is increasingly being thought of as a disease, according to the article. The goal of the program is to establish addiction medicine as a medical specialty, alongside other specialties such as oncology or pediatrics.
National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora D. Volkow told the newspaper, “In the past, the specialty was very much targeted toward psychiatrists. It’s a gap in our training program.”
The American Board of Addiction Medicine is providing the new national accreditation. The group hopes to have the program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. That would allow addiction residencies to qualify as a “primary” residency, which a doctor could enter immediately upon graduating from medical school.