Addiction Education


The Division of Addiction Psychiatry provides the academic focus within Department of Psychiatry for education and clinical care activities related to the pathogenesis, prevention, and treatment of alcohol and other drug use disorders. Clinical education in addictions is provided to medical students and resident physicians in the inpatient and outpatient treatment services of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry. The field of Psychiatry is at a tremendously exciting crossroads, bringing new molecular and neurophysiological advances together with growth in psychotherapeutic approaches to achieve treatment successes that are greater than ever before.  We are delighted to offer a wide variety of opportunities for training and acquisition by trainees of knowledge in addiction psychiatry as it pertains to general psychiatry and other branches of medicine and surgery.

Medical Students

Addiction Psychiatry training is offered to 2nd year medical students during their required clerkships. Elective opportunities for Vanderbilt students and students visiting from other medical schools are offered in the 3rd and 4th years all fully integrated into the new Curriculum 2.0 of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

2nd Year Clerkship in Addiction Psychiatry

Students will care for patients undergoing alcohol and drug use disorder diagnosis and treatment on an acute care dual diagnosis unit in the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, supervised by Addiction Psychiatrists who are members of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry. Students will have responsibility for the psychiatric care of patients in daily work and teaching rounds. This includes reviewing rehabilitation plans for the patients, participating in group and family therapy, attending staff conferences, and developing a comprehensive knowledge of the detoxification and rehabilitation of persons with substance use disorders complicated by a wide range of medical/psychiatric issues that influence the long term prognosis of these highly complex patients. They will learn the team concept of care through a multidisciplinary approach under the direct supervision of the attending psychiatrist.

Tarako Amison, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Psychiatry Clerkship Director

3rd and 4th Year Electives in Addiction Psychiatry

Students can reach out to Dr. Reid Finlayson ( to coordinate Acting Internships in Addiction Psychiatry. 

There is also a dedicated Integrated Science Course with a significant focus in Addiction Psychiatry entitled “A National Crisis: Pain, Policy, and Addiction” co-directed by Rebecca Donald, MD and Christine Konradi, PhD.  This course aims to increase the fundamental understanding of pain physiology, pain psychology, and pain treatment, with added emphasis on the opioid system, opioid epidemic, and addiction. It is a joint project of the departments of anesthesiology, psychiatry, and pharmacology. At the end of this course you will have a deeper knowledge of the neurobiology of acute and chronic pain, how it informs management decisions, and you will gain the tools to implement pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatment options. You will also acquire knowledge of the neurobiology of addiction, how it is treated, and how to empower patients to make more informed health decisions. Finally, this course will teach you motivational interviewing skills which is useful in the management of patients with chronic pain and substance use disorder, and in giving agency to patients in many other clinical settings. 


The Vanderbilt Psychiatry Residency program was founded in 1947 and offers an opportunity for residents to receive training in general psychiatry and to begin a career balanced with clinical and academic possibilities.  As one of the leading centers in the nation for medical education, advanced patient care and biomedical research, Vanderbilt has a tradition of preparing physicians for careers in psychiatry.

During our four year ACGME accredited program, residents entering at the PGY 1 level progress through a carefully considered sequence of training designed to develop a broad set of clinical and academic skills.  Resident physicians learn about the broad range of addictions and their treatments through rotations on the Consultation Liaison Service, Division of Addiction Psychiatry inpatient service and outpatient clinics, on-call experiences, and rotations at the Nashville Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center.  Residents with particular interest in addiction psychiatry can complete elective experiences related to both clinical and research activities directly under the supervision of faculty of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry.

Addiction Clinical Fellowships

See these links for details on Addiction Division clinical fellowships.


Vanderbilt Department of Psychiatry Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry Fellowships 
Training Directors: Reid Finlayson, MD, MMHC      Peter R. Martin, MD, M.Sc.
Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital
VPH 3106
1601 23rd Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212