Julian Mitton


Julian Mitton MD is a general internist and addiction medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at the Baylor College of Medicine. Julian is passionate about primary and addiction care access and innovation, with a particular focus on care for traditionally marginalized populations. He completed medical school at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA. Julian also received an MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health and completed an advanced post-doctoral fellowship in implementation science and health services research at Harvard Medical School. He is a published author and researcher. In the past, Julian has had the opportunity to practice in a variety of clinical settings, including as a primary care provider at a community health center and with the Indian Health Service as well as as an addiction medicine specialist at an academic quaternary care hospital. Julian’s recent work at CommonSpirit Health focused on population health and clinical innovations, including integrated behavioral health and programs to promote access to evidence-based medications for addiction treatment (MAT).

What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?

Day starts with some personal reflection time, before the kids wake up. Morning routines with my two young children, drop my son off at school. Then it is work from home office, time for a longer trail run through Golden Gate Park, then ready to pick up my children from school and be present to them in the evening. I think this balance and routine allows me to be focused and productive. Both personal/family time and personal reflection and exercise time allows me to focus on work during the day.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Research and thoughtful exploration first, soliciting advice from trusted colleagues and friends. Then it is a quick movement towards actualization with an action plan and some detailed first steps. Recognize that it is a balance between planning and flexibility, but early due diligence will pay off and leaning on your network for a diverse perspective.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’ll give you two: a recognition of the social determinants of health, and on the other end of the spectrum is the use of AI/ML that is clinician informed allowing providers to “practice at the top of their license” and be more present/available to patients.

What is one habit that helps you be productive?

A routine to the day, with time for family and self-care.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Avoid burnout through investing in meaningful relationships.

Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?

Equity and Value can be a shared goal in healthcare. We need to focus on both to be successful in either.

What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?

Embrace a mindfulness practice, no matter how busy or stressed you are.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?

Find presence in being out in nature, so either a walk or trail run.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?

A passion for networking and human connection, investing in meaningful relationships and lifelong colleagues. They will support you and teach you and inspire you day in and day out.

What is one failure in your career,  how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?

Early burnout in clinical practice and social isolation from working too hard resulted in some mistakes. I needed this harsh wakeup call, and have double down on my family, friendships, self care and passion for helping others with burnout and mental health challenges.

What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?

AI/ML needs to be clinician lead/informed, and it will allow providers to do more of what they do best: think critically, collaborate with others, connect with patients and their family, be compassionate.

What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

A little oldschool, but voice memos on my iPhone for quick notes and reminders.

Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?

OnBeing is a wonderful podcast series on the spiritual things of life.

What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?

White Lotus was a fantastic portrayal of how a self-centered life can destroy us and all we know/love.

Key learnings

  • Presence and a mindfulness practice will give you energy to be productive and help you prioritize the most important from the merely important.
  • Avoid burnout from investing in relationships and connections with meaningful colleagues/friends.
  • AI/ML in healthcare needs to be clinician informed and guided, and will allow for providers to do more of what they do best and love doing: doctoring and being with patients.