The University of Kentucky Addiction Medicine Fellowship has been in existence since 2015 and is now accredited by the American College of Graduate Medical Education. Graduates of this program have come from various specialties including surgery, family medicine, internal medicine, as well as physical medicine and rehabilitation. While the program is sponsored by the UK College of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, the fellow receives training within multiple departments at UK and at various clinical sites in the surrounding community. The fellowship encompasses experiences in inpatient care, outpatient settings, office-based medication-assisted treatment, and consultation-liaison services.

Our goal in the addiction medicine fellowship is to train excellent clinicians who will be equipped to deliver high-quality care to a population in great need. We hope to instill a holistic understanding of addiction and its treatment through a broad range of clinical experiences and educational activities. Our trainees gain experience in providing care throughout the life cycle and in a variety of clinical contexts and levels of care. We believe that this produces well-rounded clinicians who are able to navigate the complex system of substance use disorder treatment. We strive to provide our trainees with the knowledge, skills, and experience that will make them successful addiction medicine specialists. 

How To Apply

Eligible candidates will have completed an ACGME–accredited residency program prior to start date of the fellowship. 

Beginning in July applications can be submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). Please follow the ERAS application directions. We participate in the National Resident Match Program (NRMP) with interviews beginning in September, and Match Day held on Nov. 30, 2022.

For more information please see the link to the College of Medicine Graduate Medical Education website describing policies, stipends and benefits for fellows at UK.

Program Curriculum


Department of Psychiatry Addiction Clinics:

  • SMART Clinic: Group-based treatment of substance use disorders, including office-based medication-assisted treatment. (Continues all year, ½ day per week)
  • Beyond Birth Program: Multi-disciplinary treatment of substance use disorders in a population of women with children 5 and under. Includes group-based treatment and office-based medication-assisted treatment..
  • Continuity Clinic: The fellow’s personal clinic, offering treatment for a wide variety of substance use disorders. (Continues all year, half a day per week)

New Vista Narcotics Addiction Program: Community mental health center-based program for treatment of addiction, including with methadone maintenance.

Pathways Program: Clinic operated through the UK Department of Obstetrics. Outpatient program for pregnant women with substance use disorders, providing multi-disciplinary treatment, including medication-assisted treatment.

Bridge Clinic: UK clinic that provides treatment of substance use disorder for patients transitioning from inpatient care.


Eastern State Hospital: State psychiatric hospital that provides care to patients with severe mental illness, often with comorbid substance use disorders.

The Ridge Behavioral Health System: Community program providing inpatient substance use disorder detoxification and rehabilitation for adults and adolescents.

Addiction Consult Education Service (ACES): Consultation service providing treatment of substance use disorders for patients hospitalized at UK Chandler Medical Center.

VA Substance Abuse Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program: Residential treatment program providing care for substance us disorders, often with comorbid PTSD or other mental health conditions.

StepWorks: Community residential treatment program providing detoxification and rehabilitation for substance use disorders.

Medical Sub-Specialties

Infectious Disease: Participate in the management of patients with comorbid substance use disorders and various infectious diseases, including HIV, osteomyelitis, and endocarditis. 

Interventional Pain Management: Participate in pain management for patients with comorbid substance use disorders and chronic pain.

Hepatology: Participate in treatment of patients with comorbid substance use disorders and liver disease including hepatitis B/C and cirrhosis.

Scholarly Activity

Teaching: The fellow is expected to participate in the education of trainees at UK. They will be involved in bedside teaching on many of their clinical rotations with medical students and various residents and will develop and present lectures to the psychiatry residents covering topics in addiction.

Research: Various options are present for involvement in research. Mentorship is available and time will be protected in the clinical schedule for this if needed, depending on the nature of the project. Support for data analysis is available. Travel funding is available if a poster is accepted to the addiction medicine conference.


Education is a priority in this program and occurs during protected time and consists of a combination of the following:

  • Supervised reading
  • Didactic sessions
  • Case conferences
  • Online learning modules
  • Departmental Grand Rounds
  • Supervision sessions with faculty

Program Director James Hawthorne, MD

Dr. Hawthorne is a graduate of the psychiatry residency program at the University of Kentucky and is board-certified in addiction medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. Since joining the faculty at UK in 2014, he has consistently worked with recovering patients in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings. Currently, Dr. Hawthorne sees patients for treatment of substance use disorders in the department of psychiatry’s Supportive Medication Assisted Recovery Treatment (SMART) Clinic and provides psychiatric and substance use disorder consultations at the Beyond Birth Comprehensive Recovery Center. He is also extensively involved in medical student and resident education. 

Founder and Associate Program Director Lon Hays, MD, MBA

Dr. Lon Hays is the immediate past president of the American Board of Addiction Medicine and the American College of Academic Addiction Medicine. He is actively involved in National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) grants investigating treatment of alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, opioid, and methamphetamine use disorders. Dr. Hays teaches at all levels of medical training, including medical students and residents. His clinical work includes seeing patients in both early and long-term recovery as well as the evaluation of medical professionals with substance use disorders.