Meet David Peter, MD, a family practice resident at the University of Minnesota Physicians Smiley's Family Medicine Clinic in Minneapolis. As a 2016 participant in the Professionals in Residence program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, David joined colleagues from the fields of medicine and law for an immersive, insider's view into Twelve Step addiction treatment and recovery—learning alongside Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation clinicians and patients. As a physician, what was your biggest takeaway from the experience? Since I have a background in mental health work, I came into the program with a basic understanding of the dynamics of substance use disorder. What I didn't fully appreciate—and came to learn through the program—was how effective addiction treatment is. There are, in fact, treatment options that work long term. Yes, addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease, and recovery requires an ongoing commitment on the patient's part. Yes, there's a lot of work and follow-up involved with treatment and recovery. But substance use disorder is treatable. Patients can get their lives back. As a physician, I can help patients see that their situation is not hopeless and help them navigate a way forward. How has the experience changed the way you practice medicine? One of our lectures focused on the effectiveness of various types of interventions for individuals who may have a drug or alcohol problem. The research supports two techniques I'm able to use to help patients recognize the need to change, even if I have limited time to do so. One technique, brief intervention, is a five-minute structured conversation designed to help patients recognize how their substance use could be putting them at risk. The other intervention, motivational interviewing, empowers patients to take action and begin making changes to improve their health. The program confirmed for me that these simple, brief techniques can be life changing for the patients I work with as a family practice resident. Sometimes in the medical field, the Twelve Step approach is dismissed as old-fashioned. What I've discovered is that many evidence-based techniques and therapies in the mental health field, such as brief intervention and motivational interviewing, involve aspects of the Twelve Steps. The reason Twelve Step recovery has been around for so long is it works. Was there anything about your experience that was unexpected? The honesty and courage of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation patients I met was very moving. Here they were, going through what had to be some of the toughest, lowest times in their lives, and they let me sit in and listen in as they shared their deeply personal and difficult stories. For me, personally and professionally, that experience demonstrated the power of honesty, vulnerability, and openness. It's the place where healing begins. Together, we will overcome addiction. Medical and Professional Education programs—made possible through the generosity of donors—equip hundreds of students and professionals every year with the tools, knowledge, and insight to effectively address the disease of addiction. It's only because of your commitment and support that we can offer these life-changing lessons in lifesaving care. We invite you to learn more about how the power of your giving helps to advance addiction education and awareness. Please call 1-888-535-9485, email us at Giving@HazeldenBettyFord.org, or learn more by reading our Medical and Professional Education Annual Report.