Balance: Getting Healthcare Right

Leader Spotlight: James Petit, M.D., Addiction Medicine Specialist

James Petit (say Pe-TEE), M.D., has an aquarium. The attention to the details it takes to maintain a home aquarium is the difference between thriving and surviving. The water alone is crucial—its salinity, pH, oxygenation, temperature, clarity, chlorination, ammonia content must be precise. Filters, lighting, feeding, beneficial bacteria, choosing fish, and acclimating them to the aquarium are all important steps.

Now these are fish. Imagine applying such attention to detail in your daily life as a physician treating members with substance use disorder (SUD). That person is Dr. Petit. His motto: balance, in work and in life.

Dr. Petit joined AbsoluteCare because of our mission to improve quality and outcomes and because we eschew the traditional fee-for-service model. “AbsoluteCare’s model demonstrates a commitment to placing members first.” And he stays here because he wants to play an integral part in improving addition treatment services and outcomes for those suffering from SUD.

As a leader, Dr. Petit describes himself as a “servant leader,” someone who not only serves first but who helps to enrich the lives of others as he serves. He says he is “a leader who helps make sure everyone on my team has everything they need to perform at their best.”

Dr. Petit chose to enter the world of healthcare because it married his two greatest interests: people and science. His first job—as a McDonald’s worker at age 16—drilled into him the idea of “service with a smile,” their motto. Today, he still greets his members that way, “with a smile and a kind gesture. I ask, ‘How best can I be of service to you today?’”

Right now, says Dr. Petit, “the healthcare industry struggles to meet the demands of a very sick population with a relatively small workforce. One change I would make is to increase the footprint of preventive health education and services that can be provided by MAs, nutritionists, and everyone else, thereby decreasing the demands on MDs, NPs, and PAs.” In other words, these specialists should be allowed to practice at the top of their license wherever they serve, and the care should be integrated, just as it is here at AbsoluteCare.

Dr. Petit is 45 and has been married for 17 years. He has three children and a dog. The family’s favorite time is at the dinner table, when they get to catch up on each other’s day. “We make each other laugh. I get to tell them stories of living in the United States as a Haitian immigrant. I am truly blessed to be here, and I am humbled every day when I think about the sacrifices my parents made to bring us to this country.”