Dr. Drew Pinksy has had an ubiquitous presence in pop culture for decades now as the go-to expert for any celebrity-related addiction, or sexual health issue. He has a long running rehab show on VH1 (featuring both celebrities, and now, non-famous people struggling with everything from drug to sex addiction) and he’s the go-to guy for reunion specials with MTV’s 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom stars. He also gives advice about sexual and general medical issues, and hosts two daily human interest, current events shows; one a syndicated talk-show called Lifechangers, and the other on HLN, and is often called to be an “expert” when celebrities’ addiction issues take the control of news cycles. He also wrote a book about addiction in 2004 called Cracked: Life on the Edge of a Rehab Clinic.
Dr. Drew is the son of a doctor and a performer, his mom was a singer, and now in a way he’s following in both of his parents’ footsteps.
The first question of course, is how he finds the time and energy to do all this, but the second question is exactly what kind of doctor is Dr. Drew anyway? Did he ever see patients? How much money does he make as a TV doctor?
Dr. Drew is certified in Internal Medicine and is also a certified addiction specialist. For a while he even practiced medicine in a private practice. Here’s a run-down of his resume:
Attended Amherst College and earned his M.D. from the University of Southern California School of Medicine. Drew completed his residency in Internal Medicine at USC County Hospital and was awarded the position of Chief Resident at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. As a Board Certified Internist and addictionologist, Drew is the Medical Director for the Department of Chemical Dependency Services at Las Encinas Hospital in Pasadena and the Chief of Service in the Department of Medicine. He also runs a private clinical medicine practice.
Dr. Drew’s been in the public eye in some capacity since he was a fourth-year medical student in 1984. That year he was asked to join a L.A.-based radio show called Loveline, and quickly developed a following. For a while Dr. Drew’s co-host was DJ Tim “Poorman” Trenton, but in 1993 Trenton was replaced by MTV VJ Riki Rachtman. Comedian Adam Carolla joined in 1995 when the show started syndicating nationally. Carolla and Dr. Drew hosted the show together for ten years, including a televised version of the show on MTV.
What’s Dr. Drew’s net worth?
Celebrity net worth estimates Dr. Drew to be worth $20 Million. He makes money from all of his television gigs, but he’s also the voice for lap band company 1-800-GET-THIN, and like many celebrities and people with large Twitter followers, he receives money for tweeting.
Recent unearthed documents prove Dr. Drew also received fees to endorse a medication. This practice is more common that people realize among even regular doctors who don’t have a national soapbox.
Dr. Drew’s pharmaceutical scandals
He still hosts the show Sun-Thur. 10p.m.-12a.m. with cohosts Mike and Simone, but he’s recently been figured in a pharmaceutical scandal dating back to 1999. Documents from the Justice Department show that Dr. Drew was paid $275,000 by the drug company [GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)] for Wellbutrin SR in exchange for Dr. Drew to “deliver messages about [Wellbutrin SR] in settings where it did not appear that Dr. Pinsky was speaking for GSK.”
One of those messages? Apparently on Loveline Dr. Drew said that Wellbutrin can increase a woman’s orgasm rate to possibly 60 a night! After that broadcast, according to the Justice Department’s report, GSK sent around a memo about how Dr. Drew had “communicated key campaign messages.”
Now, keep in mind that Dr. Drew has not been charged with a crime, and he told Forbes that “My comments were consistent with my clinical experience.”