MI CARES was developed with the dual goal of helping physicians enroll in the Practice Pathway program to obtain their Addiction Medicine certification as efficiently as possible, and to introduce the fundamentals of Addiction Medicine to medical students to increase knowledge and spread awareness among future medical professionals.

MI CARES today aims to address the overwhelming need for Addiction Medicine specialists by guiding and supporting prescribers through the Practice Pathway, and educating social workers and medical students in Addiction Medicine.

Dr. Cara Poland

In 2018, board-certified Addiction Medicine Doctor Cara Poland identified the need to strengthen our country’s Addiction Medicine workforce. By utilizing State Opioid Response funds and creating collaboration among Michigan’s seven medical schools, MI CARES was born.

Cara Poland, MD, MEd

Led by Dr. Poland, MI CARES not only trains physician-level addiction specialists in Michigan but across the country. Over 400 physicians in all 50 states are currently on the path to becoming board-certified in Addiction Medicine through MI CARES.

Dr. Poland also leads a special interest grant, GREAT MOMS, which treats pregnant people living with a substance use disorder and their families. A passionate and highly sought-after public speaker and educator, Dr. Poland regularly appears in the media and at community events advocating for those she serves.

MI Success

At the outset, MI CARES set two ambitious goals: To increase the Addiction Medicine workforce in Michigan, and to implement an Addiction Medicine curriculum into undergraduate medical education. Initially, MI CARES was developed as a regional initiative to address the need for Addiction Medicine specialists in Michigan.

Today, physicians from every state are enrolling in the MI CARES Practice Pathway program to meet the rising demand for addiction specialists in communities all across the country. MI CARES has a dedicated, knowledgeable, and professional staff to support our participants, content experts to develop our evidence-based curriculum, and medical students setting the stage as the next generation of leaders in the field of Addiction Medicine.

of participating physicians

said MI CARES simplified the certification process



new board-certified physicians since 2021

Medical Students


and counting have accessed the MI CARES curriculum across Michigan

MI CARES Enrollees


since 2019

Sample Content

What to Expect

Our addiction medicine curriculum addresses the relationship between prevailing biases in healthcare and attitudes toward addiction. Our stigma module is just one example of the way our program educates learners on the full range of factors standing in the way of effective treatment.

MI CARES Footprint

We are proudly in every state, with over 1000 participants nationwide!

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