The Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) has said that the area of addiction medicine is in desperate need of more doctors to train and practice in this area. Apparently there are currently 230 Fellows of The Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine in Australia and New Zealand (AChAM). The average age of these fellows is 58 years, and there are currently just 23 trainees across the two countries.
Dr Matthew Frei, president of the AChAM believes that empathy and a streak of altruism are essential, and that it is very rewarding then you see a patient stabilise. Dr Ingrid van Beek AM, who is the current director of the Kirketon Road Centre was interviewed by the MJA. She regularly speaks to medical students about the difference they can make if they go into this area.
However, Dr van Beek said that there are three factors that discourage doctors in training from going into addiction medicine: