The Loma Linda University Addiction Medicine Fellowship has a rich history. 36 graduates from 1990 through 2016 under the leadership of Mihran Ask, MD, continue to make important contributions to patient care and society. In 2018, Dr. Lori Karan built upon Dr. Ask’s foundation so that the Loma Linda Addiction Medicine Fellowship became one of the first 50 fellowships in the nation to achieve ACGME accreditation.
The Loma Linda Addiction Medicine Fellowship is a one-year clinical fellowship that has 4 accredited positions. There are opportunities for teaching, quality improvement, designing and evaluating new services, and advancing clinical practice. Our rotations give our Fellows exposure to screening, diagnosing, and treating a wide variety of Substance Use Disorders, and supporting recovery in persons of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic conditions.
Our first rotations are experiential. At the Hazelden-Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage California, our Fellows experience addiction through the eyes of patients, family members and at-risk children ages 5-13. Next, attending the fall California Society of Addiction Medicine meeting enables our Fellows to gain an early overview of timely topics across addiction medicine.
At the Veterans Administration (VA), Fellows manage patients who opt for harm reduction, abstinence and/or maintenance through a variety of treatment programs. The VA offers 90-day transitional housing for patients who attend intensive outpatient or concurrent psychiatric and addiction programs. The VA also offers specialized treatment for post-traumatic stress syndrome and compensated work therapy. The Loma Linda VA is a leader in treating tobacco use disorders as Dr. Linda Hyder-Ferry originated the phase 4 indication for buproprion here. There are many opportunities for addictions and tobacco patient care via telemedicine. Additional rotations at the VA include PM&R where Fellows hone their skills in musculoskeletal examination and become familiar with physical modalities for treating pain. Fellows will also rotate on the interventional pain service to learn the indications and contraindications for epidural injections, nerve ablations, spinal cord stimulators and other procedures.
Loma Linda’s Behavioral Medicine Center and Behavioral Health Institute, consist of a freestanding psychiatric hospital and associated outpatient center. These facilities treat more women and working patients than the VA. In addition to a residential withdrawal unit, there are day and evening partial hospitalization and outpatient programs. Addiction Fellows will also participate in the Eating Disorders and Adolescent programs, where marijuana, video games and gambling are specifically addressed.
Continuity clinics are held at the VA, at the Social Action Community Health Center (SACHS), a Federally Qualified Health Center, and at San Bernardino County Behavioral Medicine sites. Fellows at each continuity clinic have committed mentors who are board certified in addiction medicine.
The Loma Linda Addiction Medicine Fellowship includes a dedicated rotation at a methadone treatment center.
Addiction Medicine electives include toxicology, the management of high-risk pregnancy, and perinatal addiction treatment. Fellows can increase their knowledge of evidence-based medicine and take classes in Loma Linda’s School of Public Health. The Loma Linda Department of Preventive Medicine pioneers Lifestyle Medicine, and Loma Linda is one of five blue zones (areas with exceptional longevity) around the world.
Loma Linda is located 1.5 hours east of Los Angeles, and 1.5 hours north east of San Diego. Loma Linda is more affordable than California’s coastal cities. It is in the sunbelt surrounded by mountains and close to the desert.
Loma Linda University is a Seventh Day Adventist Institution which believes that by treating addiction, in persons of all walks of life, we can make man whole.