Disrupted Physician 101.3 –“For What it’s Worth”— The ASAM/ABAM Diploma Mill

ABAM Diploma Mill

Proof of Expertise or License to kill!

Disrupted Physician 101.3 –“For What it’s Worth”— The ASAM/ABAM Diploma Mill.

I can think of no other specialty or subspecialty in the profession of medicine where non-existent expertise can be incontestably announced and implemented.  If I claimed to be an ace neurosurgeon or an expert otolaryngologist and started practicing my claimed skills in the hospital I would be called on it pretty quick by both colleagues and patients–deemed a delusional fraud and run out on a rail within a week.

Yet doctors who have not met the usual and customary standards of  professional and educational quality and core competencies collectively and summarily identified  for medical specialties and subspecialties by the American Board of Medical Specialties, American Council on Graduate Medical Education and Institute of Medicine are able to claim “expertise”  in “addiction medicine” and everybody just lets them.

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As an experiment to prove this hypothesis I sat for the 2010 American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) Certification Exam.

I have absolutely no training or education in the field of addiction medicine.  I didn’t pick up a book or study anything. I did not prepare at all.   I went to the testing facility and finished the test within an hour and a half and below is my score.  I passed it by a large margin with a score of 459 (passing score is > 394).  


Aced it!

Aced it!

I am no expert in Addiction Medicine; Point being neither is 4000 of me.

The validity and reliability of opinions lie in their underlying methodology and evidence base. Reliance on the personal authority of any expert or group of experts is the fallacy of appeal to authority.

I have asthma but that does not make me a Pulmonologist.  That addiction “specialist” diagnosing and treating you may have 5 years prior been a proctologist; and maybe not even a very good one at that.

Somewhere there may be doctor with no post-graduate training in surgery wielding a scalpel and calling himself an expert surgeon, but it is difficult to imagine that he is a very good one.

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Dr. Allwissend 01


7 thoughts on “Disrupted Physician 101.3 –“For What it’s Worth”— The ASAM/ABAM Diploma Mill

  1. Thank you so much for bringing up this types of issues, you are doing a very important job for a lot of people!
    And thank you for following my tiny blog too, I have just started blogging, and it still feels a bit spooky…


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