Ven Diagram
Biography CV Links Home
Ven Diagram


The highlights of my early life and education are some of the major external forces that helped mold and solidify my emotions, morals and philosophy. I attended and graduated from Teaneck High School in Teaneck, New Jersey. Teaneck High School was wholly integrated with a student body comprised of many races, religions and economic strata. About half of the student body was white so I learned how to communicate, compete and become friends with peers that were different from me. I also learned that most families were not as fortunate as ours as Dad was a good provider. I spent most of my time outside playing at the school yard with my friends. I began playing soccer in junior high school and have never stopped. I played soccer at the varsity level from early high school through all 4 years of college. I was captain of my high school and college teams and continue to play soccer in an adult recreation league today.

I attended Emory University in Atlanta where, unlike high school, most people looked just like me. I missed the diversity of Teaneck. My favorite subject was Philosophy where I learned different ways to think about human and spiritual existence, logic, ethics and religion. Studying philosophy, playing soccer and college fun helped the college years fly by. From college I attended Medical School at Tulane University in New Orleans. Both Medical School and living in New Orleans were exciting and rewarding experiences as was meeting and courting my wife. I met Heidi in 1984 and we were married three years later. I completed Medical School liking every area of medicine except psychiatry. I then did an Internship in Internal Medicine at Tulane Medical School and The Charity Hospital in New Orleans and liked that as well. We then moved up the Mississippi River to St Louis, Missouri where I completed a three-year residency in Anesthesiology at Washington University, St Louis and Barnes Hospital. My last year of training was spent in Pediatric Anesthesiology at The St. Louis Children's Hospital. That same year our first child was born.

We then moved down the Mississippi River to Memphis where I joined the faculty at LeBonheur Children's Medical Center. The humidity was thick, but we made Memphis home for many years. Soon after our family arrived at Memphis a second child arrived to our family. By then I had broadened my clinical interest in the field of Pain Management. I was invited to lecture at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. The visit became a job offer. So, after living along the Mississippi River for 15 years in three different cities our family of four moved to Nashville. I joined the faculty of Vanderbilt University Medical Center with appointments in Anesthesiology and Pediatrics.

Although the move to Nashville appeared to be for career advancement, the reality was that I was trying to outrun my addiction. As usual, the geographic cure did not work. Emotionally I was crashing and bringing my family with me. Drs. David Dodd the Medical Director of the Tennessee Physician Health Program and Charlie Beattie the Chair of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt saved my life. In what seemed like the scariest few days of my life these two angels intervened and sent me away for treatment.

What seemed like the end of my life was really the beginning. Treatment was an amazing opportunity and an invaluable experience that changed our lives for the better forever. After 12 weeks of addiction treatment I started a journey of recovery that continues to this day. Soon into this journey I knew that I had to be of service the way that I was served. I realized a calling to be an addictionologist. To give back the way that I was given to. So, the field of medicine I liked the least in medical school was now what I wanted to do. I never returned to anesthesiology. My path back to medicine was a three-year residency in Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University.

Upon completion of the Psychiatry residency program I opened a private practice in Nashville. I complimented my office practice with part-time jobs including in-patient care, treatment center and academic work. Besides Addiction Medicine I developed a specialty niche in Chronic Pain and treating the addicted professional. I was able to return the gift to Dr. Dodd that he had given to me.

Sadly, after a decade of very rewarding years in private practice, I closed my office to be the Medical Director at a residential treatment center treating Depression, Addiction and Trauma in a gender specific, rural environment.

I've received numerous gifts along this journey including an appointment to the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners (BME), the licensing board for Medical Doctors. This honor afforded me the opportunity to help educate fellow Board Members about addiction, opioid prescribing as they educated me about administrative law. This appointment also positioned me to help make a difference in the opioid over-prescribing epidemic that gripped our nation. I was made Chair of the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database (CSMD) committee in 2014. The CSMD is the most powerful clinical tool to help stem the tide of aberrant behavior and overprescribing. I feel that the work I did with the CSMD committee was the most important in the context of saving lives. On March 7, 2017 Commissioner Dreyzehner awarded me the Commissioner’s Award for Exceptional Service to Population Health in part to acknowledge my work on the BME and the CSMD committee.

To avoid conflicts of interest I resigned from the BME and the CSMD to accept my current position as Medical Director for the Tennessee Medical Foundation - Physician Health Program. I am also the Medical Director to the Nashville - Davidson County Drug Court and Renewal House on a gratis basis.

[ Back to Top ]

Dr. Mike Baron, MD, MPH

Medical Director:
Tennessee Medical Foundation
Physician Health Program
5141 Virginia Way, Suite 110
Brentwood, TN 37027

Board Certifications:
American Board of Anesthesiology

American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

American Board of Addiction Medicine

Distinguished Fellow:
American Society of Addiction Medicine

Medical Director:
Nashville Davidson County Drug Court - DC4
1406 County Hospital Road
Nashville, TN 37218
615 862-4220

Medical Director:
Renewal House