Dr. Tanner obtained undergraduate degrees from Pennsylvania State University and from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital in Philadelphia (currently Drexel University) where he subsequently held a faculty appointment. After graduating from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, he completed his postdoctoral training through the Jacksonville Health Education Programs in affiliation with the University of Florida College of Medicine at 4 Jacksonville area hospitals.
He worked at a substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health treatment center late in 1984 and took his first position as a Medical Director there in March 1985. He has been a Medical Director of substance use disorder and co-occurring treatment facilities or psychiatric hospitals almost continuously since 1985. He was the Medical Director for a 68-bed full-service gender specific psychiatric hospital in Jacksonville for 4 years until February 7, 2009. He served as Assistant Medical Director for Physicians Recovery Network; currently Professionals Resource Network “PRN” (Florida’s impaired health professional program for all excepting nurses) and then continued working with PRN as Clinical Associate Physician from August 1, 2001 to March 28, 2014. From 1995 to March 1, 2013 he provided forensic substance use disorder, and psychiatric evaluations and treatment for health professionals and attorneys.
Dr. Tanner trained psychiatric and family practice residents in addiction and behavioral medicine while he was the Director of Medical Education and later as the Adult Unit Medical Director at a psychiatric hospital. He also served as expert witness in addiction court cases and offered volunteer service for addictions treatment at a homeless shelter. He enjoys frequent lecturing on substance use disorder and psychiatric topics at local and national conferences and had a number of television appearances on addiction issues over the years. On October 15, 2006, the American Osteopathic Association awarded him with the Mentor Hall of Fame Award for mentoring in Addiction Medicine.
In 2008 he was one of the three principal investigators for the phase II and III clinical research trial for Suboxone® Film that was eventually approved by the FDA on August 30, 2010. He had experience as Medical Director for a large methadone clinic. He was: Department Chairman; Chief of Staff; and on the Board of Directors of a local hospital, where he provided psychiatric and substance use disorder consults. He served on the Board of Directors for the Brain Health Foundation, a non-for-profit research foundation for the Jacksonville Psychiatric Society.
He is a Charter Member of American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine, a continuous member since December 5, 1988 and he served on their board of trustees from 1999 until 2010. He was certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) in 1986 (1st year certification was offered) and recertified in 1996 and 2006. He became a Fellow of ASAM in 1998 and in 2016, a Distinguished Fellow of ASAM. In 2009 he became an inaugural Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He is: a certified Medical Review Officer by MROCC; a clinically certified forensic councilor by the American College of Certified Forensic Councilors; and a Diplomate of the National Association of Forensic Counselors. He has received numerous awards for his service in Addiction Medicine and the recovering community.
Currently: Dr. Tanner is the Medical Director for the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN); Florida’s monitoring program for nursing professionals who suffer from substance use disorders, psychiatric or psychosexual illnesses and medical disorders that may result in an inability to practice with skill and safety. IPN is monitoring near 1,200 nurses. He is also currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry for the University of Florida (currently as a courtesy appointment). He maintains a small outpatient substance use disorder and behavioral health clinical practice, Beaches Addictive & Behavioral Health. Dr. Tanner serves as the Medical Director for Tides Edge, which is a detoxification and residential treatment program for people with substance use disorders and/or co-occurring mental health issues. Tides Edge is affiliated with Beaches Recovery, the sister facility, which has Partial Hospitalization Program, Intensive Outpatient Program, and outpatient levels of care. He is currently serving his second term as Director-at-Large for the Board of Directors of American Society of Addiction Medicine from 2011 through early 2019 and he has been serving on the Board of Directors for the Florida Society of Addiction Medicine since 2013.