Addiction Expert Providing Organizational Leadership
DNP Advanced Practice Leadership
By Tracy Hobson Lehmann
Roberto D’Lorm, D.N.P., M.S.N., AGNP-C, CARN-AP, experienced many facets of the nursing world, starting with his first job as an aide in a nursing home to becoming a geriatrics nurse practitioner and obtaining his Post-Graduate Certificate in Adult Health. He always wondered why strategic decisions impacting nurses weren’t made by nurses.
That curiosity led Dr. D’Lorm to the School of Nursing to get his Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in 2013 in the Advanced Practice Leadership track. He already held other advanced degrees, and he had done clinical rotations in his native Mexico while completing medical school at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences on St. Kitts island in the Eastern Caribbean.
The D.N.P. program, though, answered his long-held question.
“We had to learn how to deal with the human dimensions of our complex medical system,” he recalled. “Anybody can be a good clinician, but at the end of the day, it’s managing the human factor that makes the difference.”
Dr. D’Lorm dreamed of becoming a physician when his family fled violence in Mexico and settled in Austin. Nursing, though, turned out to be a better fit for him, an older student whose native language was Spanish.
Flexible scheduling—and a supportive wife who raised their three sons, now in high school and college—allowed him to work and attend classes, and he always found advancement opportunities.
Today, Dr. D’Lorm specializes in addiction treatment, specifically opioids. He is the lead provider and coordinator of facilities services at Addiction Medicine Consultants of Texas, an Austin-based practice he co-founded. He also is lead provider at The Treehouse, an addiction treatment center in Scurry, Texas, southeast of Dallas.
“Having the D.N.P. has allowed me to be in the position where I can still practice but be involved in the organizational leadership at the medical and corporate levels, too,” he said.
As he works in addiction treatment programs, he sees hope in treating younger patients. He and his colleagues are working to have opioid addiction treatment classified as a true specialty to elevate patient care.
“We are losing the war with opioid addiction. Every 17 minutes someone in America dies of opioid overdose,” said Dr. D’Lorm, whose D.N.P. project focused on efficient workflow in an opioid treatment clinic. “It’s not a glamorous profession. You need special skills to deal with this population. You need to be good at internal medicine, and then you have to understand the psychiatric part. And that’s just the beginning.”