Dr. DeYoung is currently a postdoctoral scholar in CBAM’s Training Program for Addiction Medicine in Primary Care. His experience includes working with underserved populations in a community addiction clinic. He also spent a year as a Research Associate with CBAM prior to completing his medical degree. Dr. DeYoung received his MD in 2008 from the University of Michigan and went on to complete a joint residency in Family Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Iowa. We sat down with Dr. DeYoung to learn more about his background and plans for the future.
How did you get interested in Addiction Medicine specifically?
I became interested in addiction medicine during my third year of medical school after I happened to be placed in an outpatient psychiatry rotation (instead of the inpatient rotation.) I spent a significant portion of my time working at an addiction medicine clinic that had been established to serve the local uninsured community. The role that doctor played for his patients was so empowering (and needed) for what I felt and saw was a disadvantaged population. From that point, I felt like this is the population I wanted to work with.
What in particular did you like about working with this underserved population?
I quickly learned that this population is often pushed to the sides of the medical system. Many of them have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders and are constantly pushed from one provider to the other with very few providing integrated care of both the psychiatric illness and the substance use disorder. I liked that this community addiction medicine clinic was trying to provide care to treat both the substance use and the mental health disorder of the patient. This integrated model is why I pursued a combined residency.
You spent some time working at CBAM 8 or 9 years ago when you were still in medical school. How did that come about?
At the end of my third year/beginning of the fourth year of medical school, you apply for your residency (and would have completed further rotations in your area of interest.) Since I had changed my thoughts on residency during my third year, I felt I needed to explore addiction medicine further to make sure this was what I really wanted to do. I found an article about gambling addiction research by Dr. Timothy Fong at UCLA in one of the on-call rooms. I reached out to him and he put me in touch with Dr. Walter Ling, which is how I met Dr. Shoptaw. Dr. Shoptaw then offered me a research position on a clinical trial he was involved with.
What do you do at CBAM now?
I currently see psychiatry patients at a UCLA outpatient clinic, participate as a study physician on our methamphetamine trials at the Vine Street Clinic in Hollywood, and am pursuing my own research interests. I serve as the Principal Investigator on my own funded study looking at a program called CBT4CBT and its role in those with alcohol or opioid use disorders.
What is CBT4CBT?
CBT4CBT is a computer based counseling program developed at Yale University. The program follows the NIDA CBT [Cognitive Behavioral Therapy] manual which is a standard treatment for multiple substance use disorders, especially those that are not yet treatable with medication. Getting access to in-person counseling can be difficult for patients, whether they live in a big city or a small town, so this program could allow anyone to use over the internet. Research has shown the efficacy of this program in different subgroups of substance use populations. My experience treating addiction patients with medication and my frustration with trying to find them counseling sparked my interest in CBT4CBT as a helpful adjunct treatment for medications that I could prescribe from my office.
What do you see yourself doing in the future?
I would like to continue expanding my clinical work in both addiction and psychiatry as the daily interactions with patients working to help them overcome some of their biggest struggles is what I find the most rewarding. I also believe there is much more to learn and discover in the world of addiction care and I would like to continue to participate in research on addiction treatment. I look forward to seeing what opportunities arise for integrating my varied interests in addiction medicine.