Meet Jeremiah Fairbanks, DO, a second-year resident at the University of Minnesota Mankato Family Medicine Residency program. As a 2018 participant in the weeklong Professionals in Residence program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, Jeremiah joined other physicians for an immersive, insider's view into evidence-based addiction treatment and Twelve Step recovery—learning alongside Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation patients and clinicians. Why did you apply to the Professionals in Residence program at Center City? As a medical student and now a resident, the more I have learned about substance use disorder, the more I've become fascinated with the disease. Addiction is still widely misunderstood, even in the medical community, and it carries a lot of social stigma. I want to do what I can to change that. I'm passionate about utilizing all of the knowledge, skills and tools I have as a physician to partner with my patients who are faced with this disease. A big part of my interest in addiction medicine stems from trying to understand what happened with one of my best friends growing up. We were raised in similar families, hung out in the same social circles, went to the same church and had many of the same interests. We basically had the same upbringing, but he ended up developing a substance use disorder. Today he is homeless, living in Seattle and in active addiction. Through the luck of biology or some other twist in life circumstances, that's not been my fate. As a physician, what was your biggest takeaway from the experience? I gained tremendous insight and respect for what it takes to overcome a substance use disorder. People need to be willing to change just about everything in their lives in order to protect their sobriety. I met an anesthesiologist who planned to give up his profession because access to drugs would be too tempting, and I met so many other bright and accomplished people who had to re-evaluate their lives from top to bottom—relationships, career, lifestyle—everything. So, when physicians recommend addiction treatment for our patients, we need to appreciate the scope of what we are proposing. Treatment isn’t about going to a 30-day program and coming back cured. Treatment is about learning you have a chronic disease that requires you to change the way you live. How has the experience changed the way you practice medicine? I have a new and much more intimate understanding of what happens in addiction treatment. I feel equipped to partner with my patients at a much higher caliber in addressing substance use disorders. For patients contemplating treatment, I can remove some of the mystery and apprehension by describing what happens in treatment, what they can expect and what a typical day in a program might involve. For patients coming out of a treatment program, I can offer effective guidance and resources as they learn to manage their disease, grow stronger in their sobriety and regain their health.