Addictions Psychiatry Fellowship

The overarching mission of the Addictions Psychiatry Fellowship is to provide psychiatric physicians with advanced training in the skills, clinical judgment, and knowledge necessary to the practice of Addiction Psychiatry to enable them to assume leadership positions in the field.

The Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship is fully accredited as a one-year program for residents entering their PGY-5 year after completion of a General Psychiatry Residency Program. The overarching mission of the program is to provide psychiatric physicians with advanced training in the skills, clinical judgment, and knowledge necessary to the practice of Addiction Psychiatry to enable them to assume leadership positions in the field.


Fellowship Type(s):
ACGME Fellowship, Clinical Fellowship, Psychiatry Fellowship

Related Research Centers/Programs:

Clinical training occurs in inpatient, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient, consultation, dual diagnosis, women specific, and opioid agonist treatment settings. Major goals of training include developing clinical excellence in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with substance use disorders, broadening scientific knowledge in Addiction Psychiatry, furthering research skills relevant to Addiction Psychiatry, and expanding expertise in teaching Addiction Psychiatry. Close work with a range of interdisciplinary treatment teams is a core aspect of the fellowship.

Core competencies & goals

  • Patient care. Develop clinical excellence in diagnostic and therapeutic addiction psychiatry.
  • Medical knowledge. Become knowledgeable in addiction psychiatry and the scientific data base underlying the discipline.
  • Practice-based learning and improvement. Develop research skills relevant to addiction psychiatry and gain skills in teaching Addiction Psychiatry.
  • Interpersonal & communication skills. Develop the special compassion and empathy needed to form therapeutic alliances with addicted patients.
  • Professionalism. Develop cognizance of the special ethical issues and cultural needs of addicted patients.
  • Systems-based practice. Understand the broad context of Addiction Psychiatry care throughout the U.S. and World.

The Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program has a great many options for clinical rotations, and an individualized schedule can be designed depending on each resident’s prior experience and interests. Clinical rotations are available at a number of possible sites. Most residents complete about two months of inpatient work and 10 months of outpatient work, which they select from among the choices listed here.

VA Puget Sound Addiction Inpatient and Outpatient Stabilization Program

This inpatient program is co-located with inpatient psychiatry and has two dedicated beds out of a total of 24. Most common diagnoses are alcohol use disorder and alcohol withdrawal, mood disorders, PTSD, and numerous co-occurring medical problems with most patients having multiple diagnoses. Residents typically spend 2 months full-time on this rotation. Residents do medical and psychiatric evaluations on newly admitted patients and direct the medically supervised withdrawal, medical, and psychiatric care for these patients. After the first month of orientation and training, residents serve as acting medical director and take primary responsibility for clinical and administrative tasks under faculty supervision. Residents also consult on addiction disorders occurring among the general psychiatry inpatients and to inpatients on medicine and surgery.

VA Puget Sound Outpatient Co-occurring Disorders Unit

This clinic has approximately 120 active veterans who experience a full range of substance use disorders as well co-occurring psychiatric disorders in the moderate-severe range. The predominant psychiatric disorders are PTSD, mood/bipolar disorders, and psychotic spectrum. Residents gain experience in evaluating and stabilizing new patients as well as provide psychopharmacologic treatment for veterans already established in treatment. Residents work as an integral part of the interdisciplinary team and are expected to attend the staff meeting whenever possible in order to participate in treatment planning and a comprehensive approach to care. If interested and depending on schedule constraints, residents are able to gain individual or group psychotherapy experience with this population. Psychology and social work interns as well as psychology, social work, and chaplain fellows also rotate through the clinic. This rotation can be done part-time for 6-9 months.

General Addictions Treatment

The census of the intensive outpatient programs is 200-300 patients at any one time. Most common diagnoses are alcohol use disorder, cocaine use disorder, opioid use disorder, depressive disorders, PTSD, and numerous serious medical disorders with most patients having multiple diagnoses. Residents spend their time evaluating new patients, doing group therapy, providing individual case management for 1 to 2 patients at a time, providing psychopharmacologic services to patients, and participating in treatment team meetings. Residents will get considerable exposure to use of the addiction medications disulfiram (Antabuse), naltrexone (ReVia, Vivitrol), and acamprosate on this rotation. General psychiatry residents rotate through this program. Psychology and social work interns as well as psychology, social work, nursing, and occupational therapy fellows also rotate through the clinic. This rotation can be done part-time for 3-9 months.

VA Puget Sound Opioid Maintenance Treatment Program

The clinic has almost 300 patients with opioid use disorder receiving medication assisted treatment. Most patients have co-occurring psychiatric disorders and multiple medical disorders. Residents evaluate new patients, order methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, provide adjunctive psychiatric care, work with nurse practitioners and physician assistants to provide medical care, and attend treatment team meetings. Psychology interns as well as psychology, social work, nursing, and occupational therapy fellows also rotate through the clinic. This rotation can be done part-time for 6-10 months.

VA Puget Sound Consultation and Evaluation

The clinic evaluates about 1000 patients per year. Most common diagnoses are substance withdrawal, alcohol use disorder, cocaine use disorder, opioid use disorder, depressive disorders, PTSD and numerous serious medical disorders with most patients having multiple diagnoses. Residents spend their time evaluating new patients, consulting to medical and surgical wards, and performing medically supervised withdrawal and stabilizing patients destined for treatment in one of the other addiction components. This rotation can be done part time for 3-10 months.

Women’s Addiction Treatment

This program treats women only in a gender specific program. Treatment approaches include medication management, group therapy and individual therapy/case management. Residents will treat veterans with primary addiction issues although most women will also have another psychiatric disorder in addition to substance use disorders. Residents can provide psychopharmacologic, individual, and group psychotherapeutic treatment to women Veterans. This rotation can be done part-time for 3-10 months.

Harborview Medical Center Outpatient Severe Mental Illness/Dual Diagnosis Program

This unit treats dual diagnosis patients who require emergent inpatient stabilization. Responsibility will shift from apprentice to primary responsibility over the course of the first month. Diagnoses include acute intoxication/withdrawal states and other psychiatric disorders from adjustment disorders to schizophrenia. Work includes interviewing, diagnosis, orders, physical exams, team leading, charting, rounds, co-leading groups, discharge summaries. This rotation can be done full-time or part-time for 3-6 months.

Harborview Medical Center Addictions Program Intensive Outpatient Program (HAP IOP)

This clinic treats addiction patients in intensive group therapy. Residents will serve as psychiatric consultants and also function as group therapists. One highlight of this program is the Women’s Addiction Recovery program which treats a substantial number of drug court referred women. This program has won both in internal Harborview merit award from patient feedback and a King County Exemplary award for innovative programs in 2008. There is a corresponding Men’s track also, with special content. Each of these IOP programs are probably best experienced as one day rotations over the course of 4-6 months or so, such that a combination of both groups and individual sessions can be experienced, and so that progress across time can be both fostered and observed by the Fellow. Often the Fellow may be doing auxiliary psychiatric therapy or medications to enhance the group therapy treatment. A unique opportunity available here is supervision using Twelve Step Facilitation, and evidence based treatment to enhance linkage and successful utilization of community 12 step meetings. Best day of the week for the Women’s Track is Fridays. The Men’s IOP track meets on M T and Th evenings such that the rotations could be on one of those days starting at noon and ending at 8 pm.

Harborview Medical Center Consultation and Motivational Interviewing

This program provides consultation and motivational interviewing to patients with substance use disorders who are hospitalized on medical or surgical units in Harborview. Dr Chris Dunn, well known national trainer in in Motivational Interviewing, will work one-on-one with Fellows taking this rotation which works well in combination with the IOP rotations. Residents will learn and practice fundamentals of motivational interviewing. This rotation can be done part-time for 4-6 months.

Harborview Medical Center Addictions Program – Suboxone Track

This track provides the opportunity for Fellows to learn how to best use Suboxone for opiate dependence, and as well participate in both group, 1:1 psychotherapy and psychiatric medications management with their assigned patients. They may also learn to use 12 step facilitation as part of this rotation as this is a key part of our suboxone recovery track.

Seattle Children’s Adolescent Consultation and Evaluation

This elective is offered by the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital, the premier pediatric hospital in the five state region. Fellows will evaluate and manage adolescents with psychoactive substance dependence and co-occurring psychiatric disorders in the hospital’s outpatient psychiatry clinic. The large outpatient psychiatry clinic serves many adolescents of both sexes with a wide range of ethnic and racial backgrounds and a wide spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds. Fellows work closely with the adolescent addiction psychiatry attending who receives many referrals and consultation requests from community physicians and mental health/chemical dependency treatment providers. Fellows have opportunities to see patients individually or jointly with the attending to learn about adolescent-specific interventions and psychotherapeutic techniques. General psychiatry residents and child psychiatry fellows also rotate through the clinic. This rotation can be done part-time for 4-6 months.

Training sites include:

VA Puget Sound Health Care System

Harborview Medical Center

Seattle Children’s

The UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute is a multidisciplinary research center which coordinates research and training about addiction throughout the University and works closely with faculty of the Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program. The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute has its own library as a learning resource available to residents.

Residents participate with multidisciplinary post-graduate fellows (psychology, social work, nursing, and occupational therapy) in weekly seminars. The Seminar Series is organized by and led by faculty member John S. Baer, PhD, a nationally recognized expert in education and training in the field of addiction and includes the following topics:

  • Diagnosis – DSM-5
  • Models and Theories of Addiction
  • Basic Pharmacology and Drug Effects (Joe Reoux, M.D.)
  • Epidemiology of Substance Abuse
  • Psychiatric Diagnosis I
  • Natural Change
  • Psychiatric Diagnosis II
  • Etiologic Models
  • Racial & Gender Disparities in Addictions
  • Treatment Seeking and Engagement
  • Self Help: 12-Step Programs and Alternatives
  • Biological Markers of Alcohol and Drug Use
  • Detoxification
  • Clinical Assessment
  • Motivational Treatments
  • Behavioral Therapies
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Treatment Outcomes
  • Measurement-based care and VA QI Processes
  • Social Policy
  • Pain Management
  • Epidemiology and Treatment of Co-occurring PTSD and Substance Abuse
  • Contingency Management
  • Harm Reduction
  • Spirituality and Substance Abuse
  • Nicotine and Smoking Cessation
  • Final Integration

Salary levels are established annually by the University of Washington President and Board of Regents. The 2014-2015 stipends for all residents in University of Washington residency programs are: R5 $62,628, R6 $65,172; Residents receive three weeks of paid vacation per academic year which is non-cumulative.; Residents receive twelve days of sick leave per academic year. Sick leave is cumulative throughout the residency program.; Eligible residents may choose one of seven medical insurance plans from the University of Washington’s Basic Insurance Package for which the University and the Resident share the cost of insurance premiums. Residents may also select one of three dental insurance plans for which the University pays the entire insurance premium. This package also provides for optional additional life, accidental death and dismemberment, and disability insurance that may be purchased by the individual. The package is designed and authorized by the Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB). Eligible residents are also entitled to enroll in the UW Retirement Plan (UWRP) on their first day of residency.

The following materials are required to apply to the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship:

  • Letter of Interest
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Proof of completion of a general psychiatry residency program
  • 3 or more letters of reference
  • Proof of medical licensure

All application materials should be sent to:

Jonathan Buchholz, MD
Addiction Psychiatry Residency Program
VA Puget Sound Health Care System (S-116 ATC)
1660 South Columbian Way
Seattle, WA 98108

Once a complete application is received, interviews with the director and several faculty members are scheduled. These interviews can be in person and could include a tour of the facilities or could be conducted by telephone. The program does not have funds to support applicants to travel to Seattle for interviews. After the interviews are completed, the admissions committee meets to make a decision on acceptance of the applicant. A decision is made as early in the academic year as possible. Early application enhances an applicant’s chances for acceptance.

For more information, please contact Fellowship Director Jonathan Buchholtz, MD, at Jonathan.Buchholz@va.gov.