Treating addiction and pain
Malinoff has been involved in a recovery program ever since. Though he does not characterize himself as particularly religious, he does recognize a power greater than himself and says that he couldn't have turned things around without spirituality.
"There are things that have happened to me that could have never happened on my own strength," he says. "I never could have gotten sober on my own, and I never could have gotten my medical license back on my own."
While Malinoff doesn't advertise his personal experience, he has no qualms about discussing it with a patient when he feels it might help.
"The patients who come to me are so full of shame, guilt, and self-hatred that it helps to see someone who is a wearing a shirt, tie, and white coat who says 'This [the addiction] is an illness, just like diabetes is an illness, and there's no shame in having an illness - assuming you do the right thing and take care of it.'"
Malinoff is "brisk and won't be a bleeding heart guy," writes one patient on the website RateMyDoctor.com. "Part of what makes him a success is that he is a recovering addict himself. Nothing you can tell him he hasn't gone through himself."