2017 Top Doctor: Steven C. Boles, D.O.

Written by Editorial Staff Category: Profiles Issue: April 2017
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Addiction Medicine
Med School/Year Graduated: College of Osteopathic Medicine & Surgery, 1981
Years in Practice: 33

How has addiction treatment changed since you began practicing?
It has gone from being something people did not talk about and were ashamed of to a recognized chronic disease state with board-certified physicians providing specialized treatment for all its complex manifestations.

Does being a D.O. give you a different perspective on addiction treatment than an M.D. may have?
D.O.s always tend to focus on the whole person. Addictionologists take it even further: focusing on biologic, psychologic, social and spiritual manifestations – including behavioral control, relationships and emotional responsiveness.

Do you have a favorite pop-culture depiction of addiction? Does anybody get it right?
Absolutely. The movie Flight with Denzel Washington. All the disease manifestations, warped relationships, the moment of clarity and consequences of truth, plus the recovery of personal integrity and spirit. The ending is perfect.

Have you or someone close to you struggled with addiction?
I have faith that it was part of God’s plan for me to go to rehab 20 years ago. I’m 100 percent certain it was my wife’s plan, and my medical board’s plan, for me.

What’s your take on the explosion of addiction treatment centers in Prescott?
The Walker Party caused a “gold rush” there 150 years ago. Now Prescott has another one. Young people, the explosion of newly addicted, are the patients. Young people need time to figure out life in a structured, classical American setting.

How did you react to Gov. Ducey’s recent letter to the Arizona Medical Board requiring physicians to complete continuing education in drug addiction as a response to opioid abuse?
I was surprised and pleased. It is the correct, enlightened approach, if done well.
Certainly, the community of addictionologists should be involved.

Do you have any harmless addictions of your own?
Jerry Garcia ties! Guiltily, I’ll admit to having over 150 of them currently. I have several Descente ski jackets, even though I don’t ski, and live in the desert. I am like a “moth to a flame” with them.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be…”
A fossil fuel chemist, or a professional billiards player.