Addiction Medicine Fellowship
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit St, Bulfinch 4-449E
Boston, MA 02114
Sarah E. Wakeman, MD
Program Director, Addiction Medicine Fellowship
Medical Director, Substance Use Disorders Initiative
Substance Use Disorders Initiative
This fellowship is a part of the Mass General Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) Initiative. For more information, please visit the SUDs Initiative website.
Explore This Fellowship
Twenty-three million Americans have a substance use disorder (SUD), yet only 10% receive treatment annually. Among hospitalized patients, 22% have an active drug or alcohol use disorder. Despite the growing prevalence of SUDs, few physicians have the opportunity to gain specialty training in addiction medicine.
The Massachusetts General Hospital Addiction Medicine Fellowship will prepare physicians for clinical and academic careers in Addiction Medicine with a particular focus on developing and enhancing evidence-based addiction prevention and treatment services for all patients, including those vulnerable to health disparities because of poverty, race, culture, age, gender, disability or stigma.
Through a combination of inpatient and outpatient care spanning diverse settings, fellows will receive training in the knowledge and skills to become expert clinicians and leaders in the field of Addiction Medicine. Clinical rotations include:
- Inpatient consultation on the Addiction Consult Team at Mass General
- Outpatient addiction treatment in a community-based opioid treatment program
- Urgent and transitional addiction treatment in the Mass General outpatient Bridge Clinic
- Outpatient addiction treatment integrated into Primary Care at three Mass General community health centers: Chelsea HealthCare Center, Revere HealthCare Center and Internal Medicine Associates
- Addiction treatment at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
- Dual-diagnosis treatment in Mass General’s specialty outpatient clinics for adults and adolescents
Electives and longitudinal experiences will be further tailored to each fellow’s interests and guided by the interdisciplinary Mass General Addiction Medicine Fellowship faculty. The diverse program faculty includes the following:
- Physicians from Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Family Medicine
- Nurse Practitioners
- Clinical Pharmacists
- Recovery Coaches
- Clinical Social Workers
The primary goal of the one year, full-time Mass General Addiction Medicine Fellowship is to prepare physicians for clinical and academic careers in Addiction Medicine. Fellows will benefit from working within an initiative at the forefront of Addiction Medicine.
Fellows receive benefits through Mass General Brigham. More information on policies for vacation time, sick leave, holidays, educational leave, Family and Medical Leave Act, bereavement time, moonlighting, health care and other benefits can be found on Mass General Brigham benefits website.
Core Clinical Sites
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- Mass General Community Health Centers
- Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program
Clinical Experience Area
Outpatient Addiction Treatment Within a Community Health Center
Inpatient Consultation Service at Mass General
- Rotation on the Mass General inpatient addiction consultation service. The multidisciplinary Addiction Consult Team (ACT) offers expert consultation and support for patients with moderate to severe substance use disorders (SUDs) across Mass General’s inpatient units
Opioid Treatment Program (methadone)
- Part time rotation in an outpatient methadone maintenance treatment program
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
- Longitudinal rotation within a medical respite facility at the Barbara McInnis House and a shelter or hospital-based clinic for Boston’s homeless population at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Walk-in Clinic
Outpatient Co-Occurring Disorders Rotation
- Outpatient rotation rotation providing treatment for co-occuring disorders at the Mass General Addiction Recovery Management Services (ARMS) and West End Clinic
Mass General Bridge Clinic
- Rotation on the Mass General Bridge Clinic, a transitional outpatient addiction clinic for discharged inpatients and patients leaving the emergency department who are not yet connected to outpatient care. The Bridge Clinic provides patients with continued necessary treatment for their SUDs until appropriate community connections can be made
Mass General Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program
The one-year Massachusetts General Hospital Addiction Medicine Fellowship Program combines the resources of Mass General and its community addiction treatment partners to offer a comprehensive clinical training program. This Addiction Medicine Fellowship is an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved fellowship. Fellows, all of whom have completed a clinical residency, can complete a single clinical training year in addiction medicine, culminating in sitting for their boards in addiction medicine.
The curriculum is tailored to each individual fellow’s interests, and fellows are guided by the interdisciplinary Mass General Addiction Medicine Fellowship faculty.
Core training includes an overview of the field of Addiction Medicine with an emphasis on training Addiction Medicine physicians who will educate other clinicians and trainees in the community; rigorously assess and incorporate scientific evidence into their practice, and deliver compassionate care to a diverse population of patients, particularly those who are most marginalized. Training will comprise didactic and clinical experiences across the spectrum of addiction care, including the following:
- Neurobiology of addiction
- Alcohol and drug pharmacology
- Comprehensive treatment of the full spectrum of substance use disorders
- Pharmacotherapy for substance use disorders
- Psychosocial interventions
- Harm reduction
- Motivational interviewing
- Care for vulnerable populations
- Novel and integrated care models for substance use disorder treatment
- Medical education
Fellows will have 12 weeks of elective rotations. Electives will offer fellows an opportunity to deepen their experience in one of the areas of required training, including the following:
- Methadone maintenance
- Community-based addiction treatment
- Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program
- The Bridge Clinic
- Co-occurring disorders
- Inpatient addiction consultation
- Transgender Health
- Infectious Diseases
Fellows may also create custom electives with the help of the program director focused on their unique interests. Some examples of possible electives include the following:
- Clinical rotations in other types of community treatment programs
- Obstetrics and gynecology caring for pregnant patients with addiction
- Pediatric or adolescent treatment programs
- Scholarly projects
- Developing and delivering addiction medicine education to other clinicians or trainees
Fellows learn to work in a team model with other professionals, including counselors, social workers, nurses, psychologists and physicians from a variety of specialties.
Fellows will have twice weekly didactics delivered by program faculty and faculty in the addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry fellowship on a range of topics related to the fundamentals of addiction medicine.
Mentorship and Career Development
Mentorship and career development is an important aspect of our program. Within the first three months of the program, each fellow has the opportunity to meet with our Program Director(s) to discuss career goals. Program Directors concretely explore fellows’ career aspirations including geography and type of faculty position and provide guidance on the job search process, including where to search for posted job opportunities and what networking opportunities exist at local and national meetings. Program directors directly connect fellows to addiction medicine colleagues based on fellows’ interests and utilize their own professional networks to make introductions for fellows to speak with leaders in the field in geographic regions of interest to begin exploring job opportunities. In addition, our faculty represent a variety of diverse care settings and are eager to support and mentor fellows depending on their interests. After the initial meeting, career planning sessions continued monthly for the remainder of the training year.
The MGH Substance Use Disorders Initiative is implementing concrete action steps as part of its anti-racism plan and welcomes input and involvement from staff across the program. This work is integrated with the Mass General Brigham United Against Racism initiative, a sweeping system-wide approach outlining broad social justice and equity goals and strategies. The Addiction Medicine Fellowship is committed to recruiting diverse classes of fellows and works toward that goal in close collaboration with the MGH Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
Addiction Medicine Fellows 2020-2021
Dr. Sarah Axelrath received her medical degree from the University of Colorado in 2017, after which she completed her residency training in Internal Medicine through the Primary Care track at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2020. She is passionate about providing high quality, full-spectrum primary care for patients with substance use disorders, focusing specifically on patients experiencing homelessness and incarceration.
Dr. Julianne “Jules” Elofson grew up in Lincoln, RI and went to Brown University for undergrad before moving to Boston for her medical training. She attended medical school at Tufts University School of Medicine and then completed Internal Medicine Residency in the Primary Care Track at Mass General. She has always been interested in caring for vulnerable patient populations and entered residency intending to practice primary care in an underserved community setting. Over her residency, she developed an additional interest in Addiction Medicine while working as a resident PCP at Charlestown HealthCare Center and doing rotations with the Mass General inpatient Addiction Consult Team.
She is thrilled to have been accepted to the Mass General Addiction Medicine fellowship. In 2020-2021, she will also be participating in the Yale REACH program to gain additional training in providing culturally-informed addiction treatment to patients from underrepresented minority populations. In the future, Jules envisions herself working in a mostly clinical role practicing primary care and Addiction Medicine, possibly in a community health center or criminal justice setting.
Dr. Bridget Foley grew up on Cape Cod, MA. She was an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire and attended University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine. Her interest in addiction medicine began while working with pregnant patients with SUDs during an internship in Obstetrics and Gynecology. During her family medicine residency, her research focused on examining the delivery of preventative care to patients with SUDs and improving rates of screening for SUDs in her continuity clinic. She was an advocate for a formalized addiction medicine curriculum within her residency program. She is passionate about providing primary care, prenatal care and addiction treatment and hopes to continue to expand her knowledge and serve as an advocate for her patients.
How to Apply
Eligible candidates will have completed an ACGME–accredited residency program prior to start date of the fellowship in Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Med-Peds or Family Medicine.
Thank you so much for your interest. We are now accepting applications through ERAS. Please check ERAS for the application timeline for the 2022-2023 academic year. The Fellowship Training Committee will review all applications and the training director may conduct a telephone interview before extending an invitation for an interview. Interviews will occur throughout the late summer/early fall of 2021. Currently, we anticipate that interviews will be conducted virtually; however, if in-person interviews are possible, applicants must provide their own transportation and accommodations. If needed, information regarding convenient hotels and rates may be available from the fellowship coordinator, Sonia Taileb.
Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) funded fellowship slots: The Mass General Addiction Medicine Fellowship now has two HRSA-funded fellowship slots for 2022-2023. The goal of this program is to train addiction medicine fellows to address racism and to build a diverse workforce to provide effective, community-based addiction treatment. Priority will be given to applicants who are under-represented in medicine (URiM). Through this program, funding for addiction medicine board materials and exam fees will be provided as well as focused career planning and support to pursue career opportunities in under-served communities. Please email Fellowship Coordinator Sonia Taileb to indicate your interest in an HRSA-funded slot. Please still apply through ERAS.
NOTE: We strongly advise that applicants begin the application process for the full licensure in the state of Massachusetts by January 1 of their potential training year if they anticipate moving to the state. If there are documents from previous positions or schools where you have trained that you think may be difficult to obtain, we suggest that you begin the process of obtaining them as soon as possible.
Career Development Grant
Addiction medicine fellows interested in further support for training and career development in substance use and addiction medicine can apply for a National Institutes of Health-sponsored K12 career development grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for two to three years of salary, project support and intensive, mentored research training and career development with Harvard Medical School faculty in basic, translational or clinical aspects of research in addiction medicine. Visit Mass General's Center for Addiction Medicine website for more information and a downloadable application.