Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship

Mountain scenery and Aspen trees
The Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at the University of Colorado is among the oldest accredited addiction psychiatry fellowships in the country. The training program is part of the Division of Substance Dependence, which is a large department that has a strong international reputation for clinical work and research. For this reason, the Fellowship offers rich training opportunities with faculty who are world experts in their field. Graduating fellows develop competence in core behavioral and psychopharmacological principles of addiction treatment. Because of the program’s size, fellows also have the opportunity to tailor their training to fit their career interests and goals.

Completion of an ACGME accredited psychiatry residency program that qualifies an applicant to sit for the ABPN Psychiatry Board and completion of all USMLE Steps or COMLEX Parts are the basic requirements for application.  Additionally, residents are required to hold an active Colorado physician license and DEA license. Upon formal acceptance to the program, application for licensure must be initiated so that residents are licensed before they begin the program.

To ensure that the process for selecting residents is consistent with guidelines established by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the University of Colorado Denver Graduate Medical Education Committee (GME), and to be compliant with University policies, appropriate Federal and State statutes and regulations, this program has the following eligibility requirements.

1. Applicants must provide documentation of the following: 

  • Graduation from a medical school in the United States or Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME); or 
  • Graduation from any college of College of Osteopathic Medicine accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA); or 
  • Graduation from medical school outside of the United States or Canada and possessing a currently valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) prior to appointment; or, have an active and unrestricted license to practice medicine in Colorado; or 
  • Graduation from medical schools outside the United States and completion of a Fifth Pathway Program provided by an LCME - accredited medical school. 

2. Individuals applying for psychiatry fellowship programs must document completion of an appropriate psychiatry residency program, including an ACGME-accredited residency, or meet requirements as outlined in ACGME program requirements. 

3. Individuals applying for psychiatry fellowship programs must have successfully completed the USMLE Step 3 examination or COMLEX Part 3, as evidenced by obtaining a passing grade for that examination, prior to applying for a fellowship. Passing scores must be obtained for all USMLE or COMLEX steps in no more than two attempts. 

4. Applicants must be eligible for an active and unrestricted physician medical license as granted by the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners (CBME) and a DEA license. 

5. Applicants must successfully pass a criminal background investigation (criteria specified in UC and GMEC background investigation policies) and any affiliated training facility investigation as necessary. 

6. The University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine recognizes that residents enrolled in its programs are trainees, not employees. As such, applicants must be able to meet conditions of the institutional house officer (resident) training agreement. Specifically, residents in our program must be U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, refugees, asylees, or possess the appropriate documentation to allow residents to legally train at the UC School of Medicine. 

**Positions for the 2024-2025 academic year are still available.  at this point in the recruitment process, applicants do not need to apply through ERAS or NRMP Match and can apply directly to our program.  Please reach out directly to the program director, Alexis Ritvo (, for information or the program coordinator Angela Webb ( 

ACGME Program Number: 4010721006

For the 2025-2026 recruitment season: 

  • From July through November, we will only accept applications submitted through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS). You will be able to submit your application to ERAS starting July 1st. Please do not send application documents to the program coordinator until after the match as they will not be reviewed.
  • Our virtual interview dates occur between beginning of August and end of October
  • We will initially attempt to fill all available positions via theNational Residency Match Program (NRMP) with the Medicine and Pediatric Specialties Fellowship Match (under Addiction Specialties). This match occurs at the end of November.


Please visit AAMC ERAS for the Application Revised Timeline in this link.


​All fellowship positions are funded and paid at a PGY-5 level.


A Resident Selection Committee for each training program evaluates all eligible applicants. Applicants are evaluated on the basis of their preparedness and experience; academic credentials; ability and aptitude; communication and interpersonal skills; and on personal qualities such as integrity, learning motivation, and work ethic, and the ability to function within parameters expected of a practitioner in the specialty.

Programs will review and select applicants in a manner consistent with provisions of equal opportunity employment and must not discriminate with regard to sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, disability or any other applicable legally protected status.​​



Virtual interviews with program faculty and current or recent residents are scheduled after applicants have been selected to interview. If an applicant has a strong interest in a specific area they are encouraged to let the coordinator know so they can arrange an interview with someone in that specific area.

Due to the large number of applications we receive, we are unable to interview everyone. The Selection Committee will review your application file, and we will notify you if you have been selected to interview.​​

Please see "deadlines: section for upcoming deadlines for applications and interviews.  

We are currently accepting Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship applications for 2024-2025. 

The dates by which we must receive your completed application and for scheduling your interview vary slightly from year to year. 


For the 2025-2026 academic year:

  • Applications must be received by through ERAS
  • Interviews will be held between August 2024 and October 2024
  1. UCHealth CeDAR (Center for Dependency Addiction and Rehabilitation): Supervising Attending Dr. Jonathan Ritvo
    1. Fellows rotate on the inpatient service at CeDAR.  
      1. Participate in the evaluation and management of medically supervised withdrawal.  
      2. Provide evaluation and treatment of co-occurring substance use disorders and other psychiatric disorders for patients admitted for intensive residential treatment.
    2. While on this rotation, fellows will take 3-4 non-holiday weekend calls on the inpatient acute detox unit with attending supervision.
  2. Denver Health Medical Center:Supervising Attendings Dr. Christian Thurstone and Dr. Dayan Colon-Sanchez
    1. Methadone Clinic. This clinic has a census of over 600 patients. Fellows learn the behavioral interventions, pharmacology, and regulatory structure of a methadone clinic.
    2. Addiction Recovery Center. This clinic provides outpatient and intensive outpatient care for patients with any substance use disorder. Fellows learn the relevant behavioral and pharmacologic interventions in this rotation.
    3. Adolescent substance treatment clinic (STEP Clinic): This program provides care to adolescents ages 11-24 years of age. Fellows are trained to competence in the assessment and treatment of youth with substance use disorders. The treatment approach includes motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy, contingency management, and medication management. The treatment approach is described here:
    4. Denver CARES. Denver CARES is a social detoxification facility that serves over 28,000 patients annually. Fellows assist with managing withdrawal and evaluating patients for court-directed substance treatment. Fellows learn about the different systems of care that are available in this rotation.
  3. ARTS (Addiction Research Treatment Services)- Supervising Attending Dr. Joseph Sakai 
    1. Modified Therapeutic Community (MTC) Residential Treatment- Provide psychiatric treatment for co-occurring substance use disorders and other psychiatric disorders.
      1. PEER I- Men’s Program
      2. Haven- Women’s Program
    2. Synergy- Adolescent outpatient program that provides psychiatric treatment for co-occurring substance use disorders and other psychiatric disorders.
    3. Methadone Clinic (Supervised by Dr. Zoran Vukadinovic)

    4. VA Hospitable - Supervising Attending Dr. Katherine Folse

Christian Thurstone, MDChristian Thurstone, M.D., is board-certified in child psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. After finishing his fellowships, he completed 5 years of mentored research training through the AACAP/NIDA Physician Scientist Training Program in Substance Abuse. His research focuses on improving adolescent substance treatment and making it more accessible. Dr. Thurstone serves as a lecturer, attending physician scholarly project mentor, an associate professor of psychiatry and a Lieutentant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.
Katherine Folse, MD​Dr. Folse is a general psychiatrist and addiction psychiatrist. She is the site supervisor and an attending psychiatrist at the VA.
Christian Hopfer, MD​Dr. Hopfer is a child psychiatrist and professor at the University of Colorado. He conducts research in the marijuana and genetics of addiction and serves as an attending physician and lecturer for the fellowship.
Kaylin Klie, MDDr. Klie is a family medicine physician and recently completed a fellowship in addiction medicine. She directs the Women and Family Services Clinic at Denver Health and has expertise in the treatment of addiction in pregnant women and the management of neonatal withdrawal. She serves as a lecturer and an attending for the fellowship. 
Patrick Fehling, MDDr. Fehling is an addiction psychiatrist who serves as an attending and lecturer for the fellowship. He has expertise and experience in private practice opportunities. 
Laura Martin, MD​Dr. Martin is a psychiatrist and addiction medicine physician who serves as a lecturer to the fellows.
Paula Riggs, MD​Dr. Riggs is a child psychiatrist, addiction psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado. She is the director of the Division of Substance Dependence at the University of Colorado. She has extensive expertise in clinical research for adolescents with substance use disorders and as a research mentor. She serves as a lecturer for the fellowship.  
Alexis Ritvo, MDDr. Ritvo  is an addiction psychiatrist and the Program Director for the fellowship. She is the Interim Associate Practice Director and a Faculty Supervisor in the UCHealth Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic at Anschutz Medical Campus. Her scholarly interests include medical education in addiction, mental health and addiction health policy and psychotherapy training.
Jonathan Ritvo, MDDr. Ritvo is a very experienced addiction psychiatrist. He was the addiction psychiatry fellowship training director for a decade before becoming an attending physician at CeDAR. He currently is an attending physician supervisor for the fellowship. 
Joseph Sakai, MD ​Dr. Sakai is an addiction psychiatrist who is the director of adolescent services at ARTS. He is the director of psychiatry medical student education, a lecturer, attending physician and scholarly project mentor. His research interests include genetics and neuroimaging.


Psychiatry (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Anschutz Health Sciences Building

1890 N Revere Ct

Suite 4003

Mail Stop F546

Aurora, CO 80045


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