It’s been a series of unfortunate events for Dr. Ted Bonebrake over the years, but life is finally on the upswing.
After drugs and alcohol nearly destroyed his life, Bonebrake said now there is no place in his life for that kind of lifestyle.
In May, Bonebrake started the month by celebrating three years of sobriety, married Amy Edmonson and was awarded reinstatement of his medical license by the Iowa Board of Medicine on May 23.
Bonebrake, who served the Creston community as a family physician from 2000 to 2005, was involved in a serious motorvehicle accident after consuming alcohol on Dec. 22, 2005, which violated terms of his probation at the time.
“I had struggled with alcoholism for four to five years,” said Bonebrake. “I had been to treatment several times.”
Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that Bonebrake made it out of the car alive.
Past reports described Bonebrake’s vehicle as “totally engulfed in flames” and list an extensive list of his injuries — a dislocated hip, fractured pelvis, lacerated spleen and kidney and a severed aorta in his chest.
In an interview with the Creston News Advertiser Friday, Bonebrake said life has changed completely.
“That is what has to happen,” said Bonebrake. “Being a husband and father, and returning to practice. There isn’t any place in my life for that lifestyle.”
Getting through it
Bonebrake said he is now in a place in his life where he can be successful in his recovery from alcoholism and substance addiction.
“The difference today is that I have a supportive partner, who wants to see me do well,” said Bonebrake. “I have grown as a person, and come to realize, for me, to live a productive and happy life, I have to put recovery first.”
Bonebrake also praised the “strong recovering community” of Creston.
“The people of Creston have been supportive,” said Bonebrake. “Everyone knows someone who has been affected by addiction in some way.”
Bonebrake said he’s not too worried about how his past will affect his future as a medical practitioner.
“Most people know I am sober and in recovery,” said Bonebrake. “Hopefully they will be accepting of that.”
Back to work
Under the terms of the May 23 reinstatement order, The Iowa Board of Medicine granted Bonebrake’s request for reinstatement.
According to a press released from the Iowa Board of Medicine, Bonebrake has been placed on “indefinite probation” and is subject to board monitoring.
Bonebrake said he is free to join a board-approved group practice once he has completed a residency retraining program, which must be approved by the Iowa Board of Medicine and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).
Bonebrake said the residency retraining program is a refresher course, where he will work with faculty to get up to date on his medical skills after being out of practice.
This training will begin for Bonebrake on June 10, and run approximately six months. Bonebrake and his wife will maintain their residence in Creston, while Bonebrake spends time in Waterloo in the retraining program.
To get to this point, Bonebrake has demonstrated to the Iowa Board of Medicine he has abstained from the use of drugs and alcohol since May 5, 2010; attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings since Jan. 1, 2011, participated in individual and group therapy with a board-approved therapist since July 21, 2011; participated in individual counseling with a board-approved addictionologist since Aug. 4, 2011; completed a comprehensive physical, neuropsychological, mental health and substance-abuse evaluation at a board-approved substance abuse assessment program May 18, 2011; fully complied with the Board’s competency evaluation Sept.13, 2011; and completed a comprehensive family practice review course Feb. 12, 2012.
“After the refresher course, I don’t know where it will be, but I will be free to practice again,” said Bonebrake. “They (the Iowa Board of Medicine) have made sure I have proved I am doing well. And I am.”