Healthcare News & Insights

10 hospitals now offer special addiction residencies

Growing interest in treating addiction as a medical issue, not a mental health issue, is behind the new program.

This July, 20 students at 10 health care organizations are taking part in a special addiction medicine residency. The program is part of an effort to have addiction medicine treated as a specialty just like pediatrics,  gynecology, etc.

The one-year residencies are offered at Boston University Medical Center, the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii, Marworth Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Treatment Center (Waverly, Pennsylvania), St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital (New York), the University at Buffalo School of Medicine, the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, the University of Florida College of Medicine, the University of Maryland Medical System, the University of Minnesota Medical School, and the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Some of the organizations have offered similar, but non-accredited programs in addiction medicine for some time. Residents in the program will treat the full range of addictions while studying how genetics, brain chemistry and other factors affect the patient.

The program is a response to the growing idea that addiction should be treated as a chronic disease just like diabetes or asthma is. For starters, doctors can’t expect to see a patient a few times, prescribe a course of treatment and expect a “cure.” Addicted patients generally fare better when their condition is managed on an on-going basis.

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