Phoenix, Arizona




Adam J. Milam, M.D., Ph.D., conducts research centered on environmental determinants of health. Dr. Milam uses his training in public health, biostatistics and epidemiology to examine clinical outcomes in anesthesiology and opioid addiction. His understanding of substance use at the population level as well as the individual level enables him to develop interventions to reduce opioid use during the perioperative period. This is coupled with population-level work examining trends in opioid-involved overdose deaths and health data disparities in the classification of opioid-involved overdose deaths among African Americans.

Dr. Milam also studies how health is affected by human-made structures and surroundings, often called the built environment, and by people, groups and organizations in a community, referred to as the social environment. He has been a co-investigator on several grants examining how the built and social environments shape behavioral health outcomes among adolescent populations. He works collaboratively with national organizations and policymakers to implement policies to alter the built and social environment to reduce substance use and violence exposure among youth.

Dr. Milam is committed to using his clinical and public health background to reduce health disparities and health inequities. He also is committed to training the next generation of public health and medically trained researchers.

Focus areas

  • Neighborhood environment and adolescent risk behaviors. Dr. Milam's research focuses on malleable features of the built environment. Specifically, he studies how alcohol and tobacco outlets are associated with adolescent alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use. This research has included multilevel and geospatial analyses to better understand how features of the neighborhood environment influence adolescent behaviors. The findings from his research have been used to assist in development of legislation that may alter adolescent substance use and drug exposure — for example, restricting youth access to liquor stores.
  • Opioid use and misuse and harm-reduction strategies. The national epidemic of opioid use and misuse has devastating effects at the individual and community levels. Dr. Milam has several clinical projects aimed at reducing opioid use and preventing opioid misuse. Additionally, his work has explored health data disparities associated with the classification of opioid-involved overdose deaths among African Americans. These disparities may hinder preventive efforts to reduce opioid-involved overdose deaths among African Americans.
  • Perioperative anesthetic care. There is a wealth of data available regarding patient management during the perioperative period. However, there are few studies using these data to improve anesthetic care during the perioperative period. Using his public health experience combined with his clinical experience, Dr. Milam collaborates with other clinicians to better improve care during the perioperative period.
  • Diversity science. Despite decades of research documenting the lack of diversity within the medical workforce, little has been done to address this problem. Dr. Milam's involvement in diversity science spans across advocacy, research and service. He has written extensively on the lack of diversity within the medical workforce and put forward strategies to improve diversity within medicine and specifically in anesthesiology.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Milam's research aims to improve health at the community level by contributing to policies that limit adolescents' exposure to tobacco, alcohol and drugs. Such interventional policies can help prevent community members from becoming patients in need of physical or mental health care due to tobacco, alcohol or drug use.

His work on opioid data disparities helps clinicians better understand and work to prevent opioid-related overdose deaths in African American populations. His research on anesthetic care during the perioperative period uses clinical data to improve patient safety and outcomes. Finally, Dr. Milam's work to increase diversity in medicine contributes to the development of a more respectful, compassionate and effective health care workforce.

Professional highlights

  • Medical Alumni Board of Governors, Wayne State University, 2022-present.
  • Medical director, Office of Health Equity and Inclusion, Mayo Clinic, 2022-present.
  • Community Champion Award, Johns Hopkins Alumni Association, 2022.
  • Hall of Fame, Baltimore City College Alumni Association Inc., 2021.
  • Foundation for Anesthesia Education and Research scholar, American Society of Anesthesiologists, 2019.


Primary Appointment

  1. Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine

Academic Rank

  1. Associate Professor of Anesthesiology


  1. Fellowship - Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Anesthesiology Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  2. Chief Resident Department of Anesthesiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  3. Residency Department of Anesthesiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
  4. MD Wayne State University School of Medicine
  5. PhD - Mental Health; Child Mental Health Services Training Program Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  6. MHS - Mental Health; Certificate in Health Disparities & Health Inequities Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School Of Public Health
  7. BA - Public Health Studies and History of Science, Medicine & Technology Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Johns Hopkins University

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