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.
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).