Dr. Lori Burke attended medical school at The University of Michigan and completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. Following residency, she worked as an OB/GYN in northern Michigan. Dr. Burke is a member of the core faculty for the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency program at Sparrow Hospital and an assistant clerkship director for the OB/GYN clerkship at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.

What motivated you to pursue addiction medicine certification?
As an obstetrician gynecologist, substance use disorder was something I did not recognize would impact my practice while I was in medical school. Throughout residency and my initial years in practice it became obvious to me I needed to educate myself about how to be an effective member of the care team for patients with addiction and in recovery. The complexities of care for addiction compounded with pregnancy/postpartum care bring many needs to the surface for the patients and their newborns.

What ideas do you have that can help build a better community of addiction medicine professionals?
As an obstetrician-gynecologist I hope to partner with other addiction medicine professionals to provide compassionate, reliable, and coordinated care for women with needs related to obstetrics, gynecology, and addiction. Pregnancy is a motivating time for women to make positive and healthy changes in their life; it is not uncommon for a pregnancy to inspire patients to seek treatment for addiction. I hope to make the coordination of women’s healthcare and addiction treatment more convenient – by being able to offer both in a single setting. The mentors I have worked with so far in my journey to achieve certification in addiction medicine have been a constant source of motivation as I embark on this journey.

Thinking back, what has been your most challenging patient case and how did you overcome that challenge?
During my training I met a patient who was admitted for delivery and part of my routine admission interview was to ask about use of any substances. I had never met that patient before that interview; when I asked the question, she paused, broke into tears, and shared that she had been using opioids inappropriately throughout her pregnancy. No one was aware of her substance use, not her primary obstetrician and not even her partner. Navigating the conversation and empowering her to share this information to her doctor and partner was an uncomfortable and challenging experience. My eyes were forever opened, addiction does not discriminate and anyone can be affected by this disease.

What advice or words of wisdom do you have for physicians on the fence about pursuing addiction medicine as a career?
Connecting with other providers in the field of addiction medicine while obtaining skills and knowledge to take care of patients can only help you, regardless of your primary specialty. Physicians willing to incorporate addiction medicine into their field of practice will be resources to the communities they serve.

Question from our last participant: What was the last YouTube hole you fell in to?
Anything about English Bulldogs!

Finally, let’s have some fun. What is that burning question you have for our next MI CARES participant in the spotlight?
What is your favorite meal – give details?

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