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ASAM Historical Timeline

New York City Medical Committee on Alcoholism established. (Under NCA; Marty Mann, Ruth Fox collaboration).


New York City Medical Society on Alcoholism’s (NYCMSA) first scientific meeting, September 16, 1954 at New York Academy of Medicine).


(September): The New York City Medical Society on Alcoholism becomes the American Medical Society on Alcoholism (AMSA).


California Society for the Treatment of Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies incorporated: (Housed at CMA headquarters).


AMSA elects to adopt the California Society model, and offer certification as a society nationally. The California Society gave AMSA its certification examination. The decision not to establish an independent board was, in part, based on the assumption that establishing an independent board would place addiction medicine outside organized medicine and lessen its legitimacy and its chances for later ABMS board recognition.


ASAM is approved and accepted into membership by the House of Delegates of the American Medical Association (AMA) as a national medical specialty society.


The AMA House of Delegates acts to assign addiction medicine a code as a self-designated practice specialty in the AMA Physician Masterfile by approving a resolution inspired by ASAM and introduced by the California Medical Association. The code (ADM) is officially is officially approved by the AMA Board of Trustees in July.

ASAM Board approves the ASAM Guidelines for Fellowship Training

Programs in Addiction Medicine (amended 1992), developed by the ASAM Fellowship Committee.

1994, 1998, 2003

Principles of Addiction Medicine published, documenting the scientific and clinical foundations of the specialty.


Content of Addiction Medicine developed, to outline the multi-disciplinary content of the specialty of addiction medicine.


Medical Specialty Action Group (MSAG) is created. The ASAM Board approves the ASAM Strategic Plan to “establish addiction medicine as a primary specialty” (Mission Statement), “a recognized ABMS medical specialty” (ASAM’s Goals: 2006-2010); and to “develop standards for appropriate content on addictive disorders for use in residency training programs, and compile and disseminate information on the Addiction Medicine content of residency training programs” (Goal 1).

MSAG holds its first face-to-face meeting at Hazelden in Minnesota, and with the selection of Chairs of three MSAG Committees (Outreach, Training, and Finance), the MSAG Steering Committee composition is completed.

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