May 8, 2020

Addiction Medicine Fellowship program receives initial accreditation

The first class of fellows begins training in the Coachella Valley’s Betty Ford Center and Eisenhower Medical Center on July 1

Author: Iqbal Pittalwala
May 8, 2020

The University of California, Riverside, Hazelden Betty Ford Eisenhower Health Addiction Medicine Fellowship program has received initial accreditation by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, or AGCME, the body responsible for accrediting all graduate medical training programs for physicians in the United States.

A fellowship is the period, usually more than a year, during which a physician, after finishing residency, receives sub-specialty training in a field. The first two fellows selected into the program will begin their training July 1. The one-year fellowship program will enroll two fellows each year.

The training sites will be the Betty Ford Center and Eisenhower Medical Center in the Coachella Valley, who are contributing to the UCR School of Medicine in funding the program. The medical school received state funding last year to expand psychiatry and sub-specialty training.

“We have reached a key milestone in achieving initial accreditation for this fellowship program,” said Dr. Gerald Maguire, chair of the medical school’s Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience that oversees the Addiction Medicine Fellowship program. “It is a credit to the hard work of the leadership of our medical school as well as our partners in the Coachella Valley for our success in this effort. We are excited to train fellows in addiction medicine to serve a medically underserved region and to increase the chance that they will choose to stay in inland Southern California.”

In 2018, about 8% of adults aged 65 and over smoked cigarettes. In 2015–2017, 10.6% of adults over 65 reported unhealthy drinking in the prior 30 days. More than 30% of high school seniors in the country say opioids are easy to find. The Coachella Valley has a high rate of opioid overdoses. More information about drugs and addiction is available here.

“The program will be able to reach and provide comprehensive, unfragmented, and continuous addiction treatment to Coachella Valley residents that was never before available to them until now,” said Dr. Eduardo Javier, the director of the Addiction Medicine Fellowship program. “We aim to engage the patients in all aspects of their care from prevention to active treatment and contribute to the betterment of our society as a whole.”

Addiction medicine involves the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of persons with the disease of addiction. Addiction could be to a variety of substances, including nicotine, alcohol, prescription medications, and other drugs. Addiction medicine fellows get trained in general medicine, pharmacology, and psychiatry, and learn also to assist affected family members of persons living with addiction. 

ACGME accreditation is overseen by a review committee made up of volunteer specialty experts. The University of California, Riverside, Hazelden Betty Ford Eisenhower Health Addiction Medicine Fellowship program has received accreditation for two years, after which the ACGME will conduct a review and site visit.

Accreditation is voluntary. Initial accreditation status is granted by the ACGME to new programs that have shown the potential to meet the accreditation standards. Full accreditation is given to continuing programs.

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