Program Description

The UCLA Department of Family Medicine sponsors a one-year clinical fellowship in Addiction Medicine to provide physicians with the training necessary to recognize and treat patients with substance use disorders (SUD).

Eligible candidates are BC/BE. Preference will be given to those in BC/BE in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Emergency Medicine. However, we also welcome applicants with primary certification in General Surgery, Neurology, Psychiatry and OB. This UCLA fellowship was accredited by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) in 2017 and graduated its first fellow in June 2018.

Consistent with the changes made by the American Board of Medical Specialties, the program applied for and received accreditation as a new program by the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) at its February 1, 2019 meeting, effective date July 1, 2018.

This UCLA training program utilizes a variety of treatment settings from inpatient/residential to outpatient programs at UCLA and the West LA VA Medical Center, as well as community based programs and residential units. Further, the program utilizes the LA County Correctional Medicine unit, which is located within the largest men’s prison in the US. Finally, we have a rotation in the LA County Department of Public Health, providing the fellow with public policy insights and knowledge with respect to the sources and streams of public funds, how they are distributed and what outcomes are measured. LA County, with a population of 10.1 million, is one of the most ethically and racially diverse populations in the world. Some 35% of the population is foreign born, and the Hispanic population, which numbers almost five million, is the largest Hispanic population north of Mexico City. Although the area is blessed with the natural beauty of scenic beaches framed by incredible flora and mountains, as well as the great wealth as the entertainment center of the world, it is also home to the largest homeless population in the country as well as the largest number of people living below the federal poverty line.

While training will occur across a full spectrum of clinical venues, the Fellowship is based within the UCLA Family Health Center in Santa Monica, California. The center is located in a federally designated health professional shortage area (HPSA) for both primary care as well as for mental health. It is home to the UCLA Family Medicine residency program, and its associated Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatric Services program. That is consistent with our belief that treatment of SUD belongs fully integrated as part of the primary care curriculum.

Our goal is to train physicians in all aspects of the treatment of patients with substance use disorders, behavioral addictions, and co-occurring psychiatric and medical disorders. It is our hope that our fellowship will not only train the Addiction Medicine fellow in direct patient care but also provide education and council to other primary care providers with respect to the recognition of patients with SUB and management of such patients.

Goals and Objectives

The overall educational goals for the fellowship program will be obtained through longitudinal continuity of care experiences and learning experiences, clinical core rotations, program specific rotations, elective rotations and scholarly activities. Upon completion of the fellowship, proficiency will be evaluated in the following areas:

  • Assessment and evaluation of substance use disorders across a variety of treatment settings
  • Withdrawal management in inpatient and outpatient settings
  • Medically managed addiction care in outpatient and residential treatment settings
  • Delivery of Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral of Treatment
  • Provision of Addiction Medicine Consultative Care
  • Possession of the scientific, socioeconomic and behavioral knowledge to provide care in complex conditions
  • Develop meaningful, therapeutic relationships with patients, families and other health care professionals
  • Knowledge and application of appropriate addiction pharmacotherapy
  • Recognition and management of co-occurring medical and psychiatric conditions
  • Understanding of laws regarding illicit substances, controlled substance prescribing, substance use disorder confidentiality and informed consent

Demonstration of effective interaction with a multi-disciplinary team of psychologists, social workers, nurses, counselors and peers in recovery.