April 27, 2021—Glenn Dregansky, DO, FAAFP received his medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed an internship and family medicine residency at DD Eisenhower Army Medical Center and is board certified through the American Board of Family Medicine since 1984. He has practiced family medicine in many settings and now teaches at the Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency in Battle Creek. He also serves as vice president on the MAFP Board of Directors.
Dr. Dregansky received his Addiction Medicine certification in 2020 and applied for the exam through the Practice Pathway with assistance from MI CARES—a collaboration between Michigan State University, Wayne State University, and Spectrum Health, that guides and supports healthcare providers through the Practice Pathway program for Addiction Medicine sub-specialty.
What motivated you to pursue addiction medicine certification?
I have a long history of interest in addiction medicine. In 2003 I entered treatment for substance use disorder and have maintained recovery since. As part of a recovery community in Toledo, I had many patients who were also in recovery. At the time I lacked the knowledge and skills to be of much assistance, but I developed experience and knowledge through CME and caring for people with SUD. Since joining the faculty at WMU Homer Stryker MD SOM, I’ve taught students and residents in many aspects of SUD and SUD treatment. I have also served as a resource person for learners at risk. Since I’ve been doing this for several years, it made sense to pursue certification through the practice pathway.
As a MI CARES participant, how did this program help you though the certification application?
I frankly would never have passed the certification exam without the structure of the MI CARES modules and the support of the staff. I have lots of practical experience in addiction medicine, but lacked much of the knowledge of the science of addiction neurobiology and the best practices for evidence based treatment.
Thinking back, what has been your most challenging part of applying for addiction medicine certification?
Without a doubt, completing the documentation to qualify to take the exam was the most difficult part. Compiling the data and getting it submitted was daunting.
Did you benefit from the one-on-one coaching provided by MI CARES staff?
I could not have successfully completed the application without all the help from [MI CARES staff] as there were a couple of times where I felt lost in the process of completing the documentation. Each time staff responded to my questions, reassured me and proofed my documents. I also felt [their] enthusiasm and encouragement were crucial in completing the process. I can’t say enough about how much the staff cares about participants’ success.
What words of wisdom do you have for future applicants now that the practice pathway has been extended?
Do not be intimidated by pursuing another specialty. I’m 67 and was able to do it. You can acquire the necessary knowledge to pass the exam, even though it’s pretty difficult, and the support from the all the people at MI CARES is wonderful.
Finally, lets have some fun. What is that burning question you have for our next MI CARES participant in the spotlight?
Here’s my burning question: Now that you’ve done all the paperwork, taken and passed the exam, and are newly board certified, what are you going to do with it? We need to increase access to treatment, how are you going to help in the struggle?
Eligibility requirements to enroll in the MI CARES program includes:
- Having an unrestricted and current medical license
- Having a medical degree
- Certification by any American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) Board
- Engagement in the priace of addiction medicine by June 30, 2023
Click here for more information and to enroll in MI CARES.
Reprinted with permission from MI CARES April/May 2021 e-newsletter.