Addiction Medicine

Addictive disorders affect up to 10% people in the US and indirectly account for as many as 25% of hospital admissions. Despite this prevalence, physicians often feel undertrained and uncertain how they can help their patients with alcohol and drug dependence. As a consequence many opportunities for effective intervention and treatment are missed.

The Swedish Medical Center in Seattle is currently seeking applicants for a one-year fellowship in Addiction Medicine. The fellowship is available to Family Medicine physicians who will have completed residency training.Bringing together the many resources of Swedish, and the Seattle community, the fellowship will offer Family Physicians comprehensive training in providing care to patients with substance dependence.

Fellows will be primarily based in our Addiction Recovery Service which offers both acute medical detoxification for a diverse group of patients, and long-term inpatient treatment for pregnant women. Opiate maintenance treatment, using both methadone and buprenorphine, are taught in out patient settings. Medication management approaches to the treatment of alcohol dependence are offered at our new Addiction Medicine outpatient clinic. Training at the Swedish Pain Center will offer fellows expertise in the management of chronic pain patients and the interface of addiction and pain. Fellows will visit local recovery centers and learn about 12-step and other approaches to recovery.  

Fellows will continue to develop their Family Medicine skills in a continuity clinic offered through the Swedish Family Medicine Residency Program at the Cherry Hill Campus. They will participate in the obstetric care of women with substance use. We will regularly visit a long term residential treatment program for mothers of small children, providing teaching and medical care for the families there.

The fellowship is offered by the Swedish Addiction Recovery Service and the Swedish Family Medicine Residency Program / Cherry Hill Campus in conjunction with the Evergreen Treatment Service's methadone maintenance program. Completion of the Fellowship allows the fellow to sit for the certification exam offered by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

This is an exciting time for physicians interested in treating patients with addictions. The availability of buprenorphine has revolutionized the care of patients with opiate dependence. Research in the brain chemistry of addiction is rapidly advancing. New medications have been recently approved and many new treatments can be expected in the near future.

This program operates under the direction of Dr. Jim Walsh and is located on the Ballard Campus of Swedish Medical Center.

Addiction Medicine Fellows:

  • Are employees of Swedish Medical Center
  • Are covered by SMC liability insurance and employee benefits
  • Must meet the credentialing requirements to be full members of the Swedish medical staff, including training reification 
  • Must have completed an accredited Family Medicine Residency Program
  • Must be Board-certified or ABFM-eligible for exams in September of the fellowship year 
  • Must obtain a medical license in Washington State
  • Will bill for patient care services; residency program receives revenue
  • Will have curriculum developed by the Fellowship Director
  • Will have 90-day and one-year evaluations by the Fellowship Director provided to Human Resources
  • Are expected to successfully meet the qualifications for a Certificate of Added Qualifications upon completion
  • This program is sponsored by the Ballard Addiction Recovery Unit and works closely with Swedish Family Medicine Residency/Cherry Hill where appropriate.

To apply for the Addiction Medicine Fellowship, submit an application through ERAS. For letters of recommendation, three is traditional, but we require a minimum of two. If you will be coming to fellowship straight from residency, we require that one of the letters be from your residency’s program director.

Find more information about the fellowship, including bios of the current fellows.