Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) Department of Medicine and Division of Infectious Diseases offers a one-year, ACGME-accredited fellowship in Addiction Medicine to provide a well-rounded educational and clinical training program in the prevention, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery of people with substance use disorders (SUD); of those with substance-related health conditions; and of people who show unhealthy use of substances including nicotine, alcohol, prescription medications and other licit and illicit drugs.

The goal of the fellowship is to train the next generation of national leaders in clinical and academic addiction medicine, and to prepare graduates for the addiction medicine certification examination offered by the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Intensive academic training experience

The fellowship program is designed to provide a 12-month intensive academic and training experience for applicants who are board certified in any relevant clinical specialty, or who have recently become board-eligible. Following completion of training, each fellow will be able to:

  • Provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective for the promotion of health and the identification of common medical and psychiatric problems related to addiction.
  • Apply knowledge in the biomedical, clinical, epidemiological sciences and social-behavioral sciences to their care of patients.
  • Pursue a career focused on clinical care, research or teaching, health care leadership, and as a scholarly practitioner.

Improving evidence-based SUD care

Fellows contribute to SUD-focused education for medical trainees and clinicians in the community, and they will improve and personalize evidence-based SUD care for individuals and communities in the Midsouth through mentored scholarship and research.

Consistent with the program’s goals, our fellows deliver the highest quality SUD care across VUMC and in collaboration with our community partners, meeting the needs of diverse populations and those with significant social determinants of health burdens.

Fellows have protected scholarly time, equal to 10% FTE, with faculty support for board preparation, teaching, research and academic writing. This curriculum is integrated with our allied Addiction Psychiatry fellowship, creating a shared learning space for fellows across these programs. 

Faculty Supervision:

  • Clinical site: Daily supervision with faculty for outpatient cases; daily rounding for inpatient/consult services, with weekly case conferences
  • Psychotherapy: Training in individual and group therapy as well as monthly motivational interviewing sessions that are recorded for fellow review and feedback
  • Program Director: Biweekly individual mentorship and career development

Scholarly Work:

  • QI curriculum: VUMC-sponsored, GME-wide QI curriculum with the ability to scale a project to meet fellows’ interests
  • Scholarly project: One publication-quality project per year; potential projects include a literature review, book chapter, or data-based project, leveraging VUMC resources for data analysis and faculty mentorship
  • Writing workshop: Fellows present scholarly projects to faculty round table for feedback, aimed toward submission to a scholarly journal or national meeting
  • Observed lectures: Fellows prepare and deliver lectures for a Tele-ECHO educational conference and for the clerkship or residency programs, with feedback from learners and faculty
  • Question-bank development project: Fellows develop review questions from the didactic seminars, creating a resource for future board review while leveraging evidence-based learning techniques
  • Journal club: Fellows present major findings and criticisms of an SUD-focused paper, alternating between landmark and new emerging-evidence literature

Fellows' clinical training sites span the SUD levels-of-care spectrum to develop well-rounded clinicians with experience across diverse patient populations and degrees of acuity. The Addiction Medicine fellowship works closely with Vanderbilt’s Addiction Psychiatry fellowship training program to provide core clinical experiences within Vanderbilt's Integrated Services for the Treatment of Addiction (VISTA) and community partners with Vanderbilt faculty support. Our training program incorporates individualized experiences designed to develop each fellow’s specialized interests within addiction medicine. Training experiences include:

  • Addiction consultation to general medical and surgical inpatient services at Vanderbilt University Adult Hospital (VUAH)
  • Medically-supervised withdrawal and inpatient psychiatric stabilization on the specialized Co-Occurring Disorders Unit at Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital (VPH)
  • High-acuity outpatient stabilization in the low-barrier, multi-specialty VISTA Bridge Clinic
  • Evidence-based group therapy for substance use disorder in the VISTA intensive outpatient program
  • Maintenance SUD care in the outpatient interdisciplinary VISTA recovery clinic
  • Outpatient SUD treatment for pregnant and postpartum individuals at the VUMC Firefly program
  • Outpatient SUD treatment for people living with HIV at the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Care Clinic 
  • Community primary care-based outpatient SUD consultation and mental health co-management at The Meharry Clinic of Meharry Medical College
  • Community-based methadone maintenance treatment
  • Targeted clinical experiences in inpatient and outpatient chronic pain management
  • Elective-based quarter with opportunities for training in the Tobacco Treatment Service at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, supervised individual psychotherapy cases using the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) modality, clinical toxicology, and structured assessment of SUDs in professional populations, and LGBTQ health

Training Sites

Our faculty are comprised of individuals across multiple clinical and academic domains, including Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, Infectious Diseases, Addiction Psychiatry, OB/Gynecology, Pain Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and research partnerships with faculty in the Department of Health Policy. Fellows in our program deliver specialty SUD care within an interdisciplinary and multispecialty team that includes training faculty, advanced practice nursing, psychology, case management, social work and recovery coaching.

VUMC is situated on Vanderbilt University campus located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee, and includes VUAH, a tertiary care Level 1 Trauma Center with over 1,000 inpatient medical and surgical beds. Our Addiction Consult Service fields more than 1,100 SUD-specific consultations each year across VUAH, with demonstrated reduction in post-consult acute care utilization and marked increases in initiation of agonist medication for opioid use disorder.

VPH is an inpatient psychiatric facility on VUMC’s campus with over 100 beds in subspecialized units. The VISTA Bridge and Recovery Clinics are adjacent to VUMC’s campus in the Hillsboro Village neighborhood, with clinical spaces tailored to SUD population needs.

Populations served at these sites draw from a 65,000-square-mile catchment area stretching across Middle Tennessee, from southern Kentucky to northern Alabama. Fellows care for individuals living in urban and rural settings, medically underserved areas, and racially- and culturally-diverse communities.

Click here for a video tour of the VUMC campus.

Weekly lectures with a board-preparation focus are augmented by additional specialty topics from active clinical services and research within the Division of Addiction Psychiatry, Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research and Addiction Medicine faculty. The curriculum emphasizes identification, assessment, diagnosis, and evidence-based treatment of the spectrum of substance-related and addictive disorders, alongside their medical and psychiatric comorbidities.

We accept applicants who have successfully completed training in any American Board of Medical Specialties residency or fellowship program. Completion of an accredited residency program by the start of the fellowship is required for matriculation to this PGY5 fellowship position.

The Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program is designed to meet and exceed the defined ACGME Program Requirements for Graduate Medical Education in Addiction Medicine. The program received initial accreditation in 2018 and re-accreditation in 2021. Physicians who complete our fellowship program are eligible to sit for board examination in addiction medicine through the American Board of Preventative Medicine.

Our program uses ERAS for application submission and the NRMP Match for candidate selection. The application process calendar is shared across participating programs:

  • June 7, 2023: ERAS 2024 application season opens, trainees begin preparing applications for submission
  • July 5, 2023: ERAS 2024 applications open for formal submission
  • July 19, 2023: ERAS releases applications to fellowship programs for review
  • Late July to September 2023: Virtual interviews

Information about the ERAS application process is here

Information about the NRMP Match process is here

Application materials submitted through ERAS should include the following:

  • Personal statement describing interests, achievements and career goals within Addiction Medicine

  • Standardized data from the applicant’s curriculum vitae
  • Current headshot photograph
  • USMLE I, II and III scores (or COMLEX equivalents)
  • Any applicable information for IMG credentialing (e.g., ECFMG certificate, visa)
  • Four (4) letters of recommendation are required; one letter must be from the applicant’s residency Program Director 

Consistent with 2023 AAMC guidance, we will be conducting all applicant interviews virtually for the July 2023 recruitment cycle. An opportunity for in-person visits may be available pending public health conditions, and this would occur after NRMP rank order list certification to ensure an applicant’s ability to travel is not included in the selection process.

If you have questions and are interested in learning more about our program, please contact our Program Coordinator. We want to provide all necessary information as you make the exciting and difficult decisions regarding where you will train in Addiction Medicine.

Jasmyne Mitchell
Addiction Medicine Fellowship Training Program Coordinator

For more information about living and working in Nashville, click here.

Program Leadership

Katie White, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine 
Program Director, Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program