Monday, June 6, 2011

Overcoming heroin addiction to become a doctor?

Strange story in the Oregonian: Among Oregon Health & Science University's graduating doctors, a woman who overcame heroin addiction. If there is one profession that ought to have a zero tolerance for addictive drug use - past and present - it is the medical profession. I am not talking about someone's use of  pot, but I am talking about anyone who has been addicted to drugs.

The story can be said to state that drug addiction can be cured or overcome. A drug addict is one for life. There are those that have regained self-control to the point where drug use presents no issues to themselves or others. But this person hasn't demonstrated that she has that self-control. Apparently drinking alcohol was enough to set her back on the wrong track - relapse seems to come easy to her.

She was not taking drugs to get high somewhat akin to using alcohol or pot. She was facilitating drug use of others. Those she allegedly socialized with were the criminal element. In one part of the recovering/relapse part of the story, she was "involved with" a person selling drugs in Harlem. This just before going to medical school.

There is nothing in her story that would give anyone the belief that she will become a professional eschewing drugs that will be more accessible than ever before. But what I find exceptionally strange about her "life"" story is that it is not believable.

The story sounds like it was taken from some trashy novel - maybe more than one. Maybe it was the author who for the sake of brevity edited a little too heavily. There are enormous holes and much requires the reader to take the author's word for it. Might even be a script for some reality show.

One wonders whether the story has any basis whatsoever. Is it a story (not the addiction) that has helped her find a way into the medical profession? It is not too hard to argue that she displaced someone more qualified to be a doctor. And it is not too hard to argue that some pressure from the recovery industry shifted her up the admissions list.

It is doubtful that she will ever be monitored for drug use - it will only come to light when damage is done. Sorry, she wouldn't be my doctor. I could tolerate her as some other professional - but not with my health and life.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I removed the comment by mistake but have zero control (it is always in Google's hands) over correcting my mistakes such as this one.

    I was going to respond and goofed with the mouse. Sorry.

    Please post again if you will.