Erik Gunderson, MD, DFASAM

Dr. Gunderson's clinical practice involves providing diagnostic assessment and treatment services for substance use disorders and the frequently interrelated psychiatric conditions, such as mood and anxiety disorders, and ADHD/ADD. 

His management approach integrates evidence-based psychopharmacologic medication treatment with motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, and insight-oriented therapy. His general approach with pharmacologic treatment is to target the minimally effective dose that balances efficacy, safety, and patient goals.



Dr. Gunderson is the Director and Founder of the Center for Wellness and Change. He also is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences and Department of Medicine at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine. After completing medical school, internal medicine residency, and chief residency at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, he entered an Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine.  He is a national Lead Mentor through the Providers Clinical Support System for Medication Assisted Treatment of opioid use disorders ( He is a Distinguished Fellow in the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), and member in the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) and Association for Medical Eduction and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA).

Dr. Gunderson's clinical and research interests have focused on treatment of opioid use disorders, the interface between pain and substance use, integrating alcohol and other substance use disorder screening and intervention in primary care, medical education, and human behavioral psychopharmacology. Between 2003-2008, he was Medical Director of Columbia University's Buprenorphine Program, an outpatient program that specialized in the treatment of opioid use disorders.  Also during this time, he was Medical Director of Columbia's Substance Use Research Center, a human behavioral pharmacology research laboratory. In 2008, he moved to Virginia and became Director of UVA's Clinical Pharmacological Research Unit in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences.  From 2008 to 2014 he was Adjunct Associate Research Scientist in the Division on Substance Abuse, Department of Psychiatry, of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He has received federal funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the effectiveness of buprenorphine treatment of opioid dependence in primary care, as well U. S. Department of Health and Human Services funding from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment to develop substance use curricula for physicians.

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