Tyler S. Oesterle, M.D., M.P.H.

What moment or experience in your life influenced your decision to be a clinician?

When I was 11, my brother suddenly became ill with a severe stomachache. My parents were uncertain about what to do and decided to wait it out to see if he improved on his own. Fortunately, our neighbor was a resident physician, and he appropriately identified my brother's appendicitis. When we got my brother to the hospital, his appendix had already ruptured. Ultimately, he recovered fully, but this close call for our family instilled in me a deep respect for the medical profession.

What motivated you to become a Kern Health Care Delivery Scholar?

There is a significant unmet need for substance use disorder services throughout health care. I believe that improving the efficiency of delivery can significantly improve access. However, I identified that I needed more health care delivery science training to study my proposed interventions.

What is your focus and goal as a scholar within the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery?

My research focuses on substance use disorders. My project, called Senyo, is a novel platform to deliver substance use disorder services virtually.

Tell us about your mentoring team.

I have tried to gather a mentoring team with diverse expertise. My team includes colleagues within the Division of Integrated Behavioral Health, Addiction Services, and the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery.

My primary mentor, Victor M. Karpyak, M.D., Ph.D., has more than 40 years of experience in clinical practice and research in addiction psychiatry. He also has a long record of funding support by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as institutional and private research grants. His research focuses on discovering genetic and clinical biomarkers associated with the risk of alcohol and substance misuse and treatment response. Dr. Karpyak has experience conducting research focused on digital biomarkers in alcohol misuse and dependence, including a certificate of invention on a method for evaluation of the efficiency of medical treatment of delirium.

How will your research transform or improve patient care or affect public health?

It has been widely reported that only about 10% of people who need substance use disorder services receive those services. Untreated and undertreated substance use disorders represent a significant public health crisis. Along with others in the psychiatry department, I have built a digital platform to improve access to substance use disorder services and the quality of those services.

Why did you choose Mayo Clinic to pursue your career?

After finishing my residency and fellowship at Mayo Clinic, I left to work in a large nonacademic medical center. After working for a few years, I wanted to pursue research opportunities in addition to my clinical practice. My residency and fellowship experiences were excellent, and I wanted to return to Mayo Clinic to embark on this new career stage.

Tell us three words that describe you.

Compassionate, dedicated, diligent.

Outside of work, what is one thing you like to do?

I love to spend time with my family doing various activities or volunteering in my church.