Overview

The Kaiser Permanente Northern California Addiction Medicine Fellowship is a (1) one-year program, with an optional second year, created to train physicians in the ABMS specialty of Addiction Medicine.  With more than 4 million members in Northern California, Kaiser Permanente offers all members complete assessment and treatment of substance use disorders (SUD).  For our patients there is “no wrong door” to entering treatment. Addiction Medicine specialist physicians receive referrals from the emergency department, outpatient clinics, and hospital teams including ICU, Obstetrics, Hospital Based Physicians and Surgery.  Kaiser Permanente has an established reputation for delivering the highest quality Addiction treatment, leading the nation in innovative ideas and strategies for reducing the burden of substance use disorders.

The goal of the fellowship is to produce physicians who will lead in the expansion of addiction medicine, in both a local and national arena, in clinical, academic, or policy areas.  The year-long comprehensive clinical and didactic program is comprised of a well-rounded series of regional rotations and seminars to provide evidence based knowledge and prepare physicians for careers in any area of addiction medicine.

Background

Risky substance use and substance use disorders constitute America’s largest and most costly preventable health problem.  Sixteen percent of the non-institutionalized U.S. population age 12 and over (40.3 million) meet medical criteria for substance use disorders involving tobacco, alcohol, illicit and controlled prescriptions drugs.   Another 32 percent (80.4 million) use psychoactive substances in ways that threaten health and safety.  Untreated, these conditions drive more than 70 other conditions requiring medical attention, result in costly health and social consequences including one-third of hospital inpatient costs, and cause at least 20 percent of all deaths.  Persons with addictive diseases are among the highest-cost health care users in America: they have higher utilization rates, more frequent hospital admissions, longer hospital stays and require more expensive health care services.

Addiction Medicine Fellows will work in a busy, challenging environment with close mentorship from addiction specialist physicians. They will be an integral part of treatment teams of psychologists and therapists providing addiction treatment across the spectrum from unhealthy use to severe use disorders in adolescents and adults. The  addiction medicine fellows will learn in a rich training environment that includes in-patient consultation and liaison in a general medical hospital, liver transplant services, opioid treatment programs, evaluation of obstetric patients with SUD and neonates with in utero substance exposure and busy outpatient  addiction medicine recovery service programs.

Program Goals

Supervision and Mentoring

Regular supervision is a core element of this fellowship, supported by experienced faculty. Fellows will meet with the Program Director weekly for the first 3 months and then at least twice monthly.

Research

The Department of Research (DOR) at Kaiser Permanente maintains an active program of inquiry into Addiction Medicine. The fellows will meet with DR. Connie Weisner during the first month of fellowship. Fellows will be given the opportunity to work closely on an ongoing research project. Additionally the fellows will be expected to prepare a manuscript for publication during their first year in an area of interest such as review of the literature on a topic or clinical case presentation

Scholarly Activities

The program must provide a supervised, ongoing forum in which fellows explore and analyze emerging scientific evidence pertinent to the practice of medicine.  All fellows must participate in scientific inquiry, either through direct participation in research, or by undertaking scholarly projects that make use of the scientific methods noted above. Fellows must also have guided experiences in the application of emerging clinical knowledge applicable to their own patient panels. The training environment must be in compliance with accepted evidence-based practices.

For more information regarding our program, please contact Carolyn Vincent, Program Coordinator.