Home / Podcasts / A Proactive Approach to Physician Wellness With Dr. Greg Skipper

A Proactive Approach to Physician Wellness With Dr. Greg Skipper

Feb 9, 2022

Dr. Greg Skipper has devoted his career to assisting professionals in crisis. He has been instrumental in developing some of the standards for diagnosis and treatment for substance use disorders among medical professionals. Dr. Skipper and Diana discuss the statistics associated with doctors and mental illness and what the barriers are to proper diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Skipper also shares how research shows that proper monitoring and positive reinforcement can lead to more successful recoveries. Listen as he shares his experience and the hope that there is for medical professionals who have substance use disorders.


  • [01:30] The propensity for medical professionals to have substance use disorders
  • [04:07] Treatment among medical professionals 
  • [07:27] The process for identifying and treating substance use disorders
  • [09:11] Lifetime monitoring vs recovery
  • [11:34] Support tools alongside monitoring
  • [13:00] Barriers to diagnosis and recovery
  • [17:53] Ideal response to addiction and contingency management
  • [21:11] Emotional leverage vs proper management


  • Studies show medical professionals have the same propensity for addiction as other professionals like lawyers, truck drivers or doctors.
  • One of the barriers to recovery is the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders. People don’t want to have this illness because it is shameful. So naturally people resist the diagnosis.
  • There are also bigger institutional issues that present barriers to recovery. The media is one of those. They are always looking for scandals with professionals like doctors, judges and lawyers.
  • Studies have proven that if you set up the right kind of system, addiction is treatable and the success rate is as good or better than any other chronic illness. Systems that highlight positive reinforcement with a little bit of negative consequences have proven to work best.






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