The radical ex-hippie who infiltrated Ontario’s health-care establishment

Nov 25, 2017
Author: 
Toronto Star

Philip BergerBerger, pictured here in 2004, rose through the ranks at St. Michael's, joining the hospital's board of directors in the early 2000s, without ever becoming a "yes man" or losing his integrity, says his friend and fellow physician Dr. Rick Glazier. (VINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO)

Back in 1992, Ontarians hooked on heroin were stuck in a vortex of addiction. Effective treatment was scarce — at least in the province.

Even though methadone had been around since the 1960s to treat addiction and there was compelling evidence to show it relieved intense withdrawal symptoms, it was still viewed as controversial. The idea of replacing one opioid with another raised eyebrows.

Dr. Philip Berger, a Toronto family doctor with a long history of working with the most marginalized of patients, among them people struggling with addictions, was up on the latest literature.

 

Read the profile on the Toronto Star

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