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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
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Addiction Psychiatry

Graduates of the 12-month, ACGME-accredited Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program satisfy all requirements and are eligible to take the ABPN subspecialty certification examination.

This program provides clinical services to individuals who have problems with drugs and alcohol, training for medical personnel in addiction treatment and consultation to other programs that may address these issues. The faculty is comprised of board-certified psychiatrists with added qualifications in addiction and other scientists and clinical staff with expertise in this field.

The specialty of addiction psychiatry offers evidence-based integrated treatment for individuals who have co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders that make up the majority of people seeking behavioral health services so as to achieve the best treatment outcomes. We work to develop hospital and community resources for people with these complex problems and to promote understanding of their development and treatment.


The Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship is an ACGME-accredited training program for individuals who have successfully completed a four-year psychiatry residency program in the United States or Canada. At the current time, the complement for the fellowship is one position.


Applicant to the program must complete a Northwestern University application, which can be accessed at the McGaw website. The application must include the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Personal statement
  • Photocopy of current state medical license
  • Photocopies of original USMLE examination results, or equivalent
  • Photocopy of ECFMG certificate, if applicable
  • Medical school transcript and MSPE letter (sent directly from the medical school)
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals in your specialty (one from current or previous program director); must be sent directly from the individuals to the program director or program coordinator
  • Photocopies of visa/citizenship papers, if applicable
  • Photocopy of NPI number


The fellowship in addiction psychiatry offers the opportunity to gain specialized skills in the care of patients who lives are complicated by the effects of substance use.

The clinical rotations are primarily located in addiction treatment programs and offer experience in the various levels of care and treatment modalities available to address these problems. The emphasis is to understand addiction as a chronic brain disease that can be successfully treated by a comprehensive biopsychosocial approach, including medications that target the underlying brain pathophysiology. Furthermore, it is now more the expectation, rather than the exception, that individuals with psychiatric problems may also have a substance use disorder. This means that expertise in working with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders is essential for competence as a practicing psychiatrist. The interplay of psychiatric symptoms with the effects of drugs and alcohol is a complex confounder in the treatment of both disorders. Addiction psychiatrists are the best prepared of all clinicians to provide the necessary care.

This fellowship training experience takes place after the completion of training in General Psychiatry so the fellow is often able to function as a junior attending or consultant and gains the experience needed to succeed as an independent practitioner after graduation. The program’s faculty members are experienced specialists in the treatment of addictive disorders and provide the fellow with important professional mentoring. The trainee learns about the current behavioral health systems of care and by the end of training is easily employable and can often find leadership positions in this developing field. Finally, completion of the Northwestern fellowship conveys the privilege to gain further medical board certification in addiction psychiatry, professional recognition of the highest degree.

Contact Us


For more information, contact Sandra Downey at 312-695-5800.

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