The Addiction Social Work Fellowship program accepts two positions in Social Work annually. The program strives for excellence in clinical training, scholarship, research, and advocacy and includes specialty training in inpatient and outpatient addiction services, as well as related concurrent disorders training. The program prepares Fellows to work clinically in the field of addiction medicine and take leadership roles in academic and/or research settings.



The program runs from July 1 to June 30 (one year). There may be some flexibility with the start date and duration, particularly for applicants who have secured their own funding.

  • Two fellows are accepted in social work from a range of backgrounds.
  • The program encourages learning experiences in a variety of settings, including residential recovery, withdrawal management, inpatient, outpatient, chronic pain, research, and other placements.
  • There is flexibility in rotations based on experience and individual learning objectives.
  • The program also encourages didactic learning experiences through a two-week academic block, journal clubs, research and presentation skills development, clinical and research skills workshops, and lectures with interdisciplinary trainees (e.g., medicine, social work, allied health).
  • Each Fellow’s rotations are tailored to learning objectives that are set with the Program Director.
  • A description of some of the training rotations can be found below.


The Addiction Medicine Consultation Team (AMCT) at St. Paul’s Hospital provides inpatient addiction medicine consultations to the entire hospital, including all medical and surgical wards. Social work within the AMCT involves liaising with nurses and physicians regarding addiction treatment coordination for medical comorbidities, inpatient withdrawal and detoxification management, and opioid agonist therapy. Providing inpatient counselling, motivational interviewing, connection to community supports, and follow-up treatment recommendations are also an important part of this role.
Vancouver Detox provides an excellent clinical learning environment for medical withdrawal management and related care. Fellows will provide full assessments and management in this 25-bed inpatient medically supervised withdrawal management unit, and will be exposed to the full spectrum of inpatient medical withdrawal management patient care. A Daytox program for outpatient medical withdrawal management and early treatment, located in the same facility, is also part of this rotation.
Fellows will learn about the process required for initial assessment and ongoing treatment of primary care outpatients with substance use disorders. A range of treatments are provided at Three Bridges, including opioid agonist maintenance treatment with methadone and buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone®) and outpatient withdrawal management, as well as group and one-on-one counselling (e.g., matrix model, Seeking Safety, SMART). This is an excellent interdisciplinary learning environment; Three Bridges is highly experienced with hosting trainees and exposing them to a wide range of activities.
Home base for this rotation is the Heartwood Centre for Women, a tertiary, provincial 28-bed residential addiction treatment facility for cisgender and transgender women. Fellows learn about the full spectrum of treatment, from withdrawal management to group therapy. There will also be some exposure to Fir Square Combined Care Unit, an inpatient stabilization and detoxification unit at BC Women’s Hospital for care for women using substances and infants exposed to these substances.
The Pain Management Program at OrionHealth (Vancouver Pain Clinic) is an intensive outpatient program. Fellows will learn about the process involved in initial assessments—including addiction/pain histories and screening instruments—to support diagnosis and treatment planning for patients with chronic pain disorders, many of whom also have concurrent substance use disorders.
The Psychiatric Assessment and Stabilization Unit (PASU) / Consultation Liaison Service (CLS) is an acute assessment and stabilization unit that deals primarily with concurrently disordered (e.g., addicted and mentally ill) patients requiring psychiatric admission. Fellows will learn about the consultation process which involves full psycho-social assessments, as well as liaising with nurses, physicians, and social workers regarding addiction treatment coordination for medical and psychiatric comorbidities. Providing inpatient counselling, motivational interviewing, connection to community supports, and follow-up treatment recommendations will be a focus of the care provided.
St. Paul’s Hospital’s Inner City Youth Mental Health Program hosts this rotation, which combines outpatient assessments, long-term residential care management, and in-hospital care of youth between the ages of 16 and 25.
Each Fellow will spend time in a community setting at a consistent site over the Fellowship in order to become familiar with a patient population living with substance use disorders and/or process addictions.


Application Timeline for the 2017-2018 Addiction Social Work Fellowship:

  • December 4, 2017: Application process opens
  • January 15, 2018: Application Deadline
  • February 5 to March 2, 2018: Interview period
  • March 12, 2018: Acceptance notification
  • March 19, 2018: Deadline for acceptance
  • July 3, 2018: Fellowship begins

Please note: While the Fellowship is envisioned to be from July 4 to June 30 of the following year, there may be some flexibility with the start date, particularly for applicants who bring their own funding.

Application Details
Interested candidates must submit an electronic copy of the following documentation:

  1. Two letters of reference
  2. A 700-word letter of intent describing:
    • The applicant’s background,
    • The applicant’s preparation for the Fellowship, and
    • Why they are interested in a career in addiction social work.
  3. A curriculum vitae

Please send an electronic copy of all application materials to

The electronic application is required. If you wish to submit an additional hard copy, you may do so to the following address (doing so is not required):
The BCCSU Addiction Medicine Fellowship
Room 62008, 1081 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Interviews may be conducted with top candidates shortly after the application deadline. Interviews may be in person, on the phone, or via Skype.

General Inquiries
For further information please email


Lou DeMeayer

View a list of current Addiction Social Work Fellows here.

Cody Callon, Director, The BCCSU Addiction Medicine Fellowship and Research Coordinator with the BC Center on Substance Use


providence-healthcare-logoSt. Paul’s Hospital at Providence Health Care is an acute care, academic, and research hospital located in downtown Vancouver. With over 500 acute care beds in use and home to many world-leading medical and surgical programs, the hospital serves both the local community and patients from across BC. Its downtown location brings many of Vancouver’s tourists and visitors to its doors. St. Paul’s also has a longstanding history of providing care to disadvantaged populations. For more information about St. Paul’s Hospital, please click here.

unc-division-aidsFrom its inception in 2007, the Division of AIDS at the University of British Columbia has worked collaboratively with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (est. 1992) and the AIDS Research Program at St. Paul’s Hospital / UBC (est. 1988). Our divisional members are involved in various areas of research in the area of HIV treatment and prevention. The Division places considerable emphasis on treating and preventing HIV infection among intravenous drug users. For more information about the UBC Division of AIDS, please click here.

logo-webThe BC Centre on Substance Use (BCCSU) is a provincially networked resource with a mandate to develop, implement, and evaluate evidence-based approaches to substance use and addiction. The BCCSU focuses on three strategic areas: research and evaluation, education and training, and clinical care guidance. With the support of the province of British Columbia, the BCCSU hosts the largest interdisciplinary addiction medicine training program in North America, building capacity in the healthcare system in BC to improve access to evidence-based care. Although physically located in Vancouver, the BCCSU is a provincially networked resource for researchers, educators, and care providers, as well as people who use substances, family advocates, support groups, and the recovery community. It is hosted at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and Providence Health Care. For more information about the BCCSU, please click here.

ubc-logo-fullThe University of British Columbia (UBC), established in 1908, is one of Canada’s leading research universities, consistently ranked among the top 40 in the world. The university attracts 54,000 students from across Canada and 140 countries around the world to two major campuses. For more information about UBC, please click here.

spf-logoSt. Paul’s Foundation raises funds to support compassionate world-class care, research, and teaching at St. Paul’s Hospital. The BCCSU Addiction Medicine Fellowship is a partnership between St. Paul’s Foundation, St. Paul’s Hospital, the BC Centre on Substance Use, and the UBC Division of AIDS. The program was launched with a $3 million landmark donation to St. Paul’s Foundation, gifted by Goldcorp, Inc. The Foundation continues to secure additional funding to support the program. For more information, or to donate, please click here.

vch-logoVancouver Coastal Health is a regional health authority providing direct and contracted health services including primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care; home and community care; mental health services; population and preventive health; and addictions services in part of Greater Vancouver and the Coast Garibaldi area. For more information, please click here.

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