A National Initiative to Include Lifestyle Medicine
In Our Nation’s Medical Schools
By 2020, the World Health Organization predicts that two-thirds of all disease worldwide will be the result of lifestyle choices. Currently, 50 percent of Americans live with one or more chronic illness such as diabetes and hypertension, conditions in which diet and exercise play a key role. Health care professionals are uniquely positioned to stem the tide of chronic disease through patient education.
On September 9 and 10, 2013, the USC School of Medicine Greenville and Harvard School of Medicine hosted the first national invitational Lifestyle Medicine Think Tank supported by the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. Leaders in medical education and lifestyle medicine (complete list at right) gathered in Greenville, S.C., to explore the idea of making lifestyle medicine a formal part of medical school curricula.
Click here to view a biosketch of the Lifestyle Medicine curricula founding stakeholders.
The Think Tank was the first time thought leaders had the opportunity to talk in-depth about how to equip future physicians to address lifestyle medicine with their patients. Participants determined the initiative’s vision and five areas of focus:
Our vision is to integrate lifestyle medicine into medical education. Lifestyle factors including nutrition, physical activity, and stress are critical determinants of health, causing a pandemic of chronic disease and unsustainable health care costs. We will provide an array of evidence-based curricular resources for prevention and treatment of lifestyle related diseases throughout medical education.
For each area of focus, the group outlined specific strategies, success indicators, as well as issues and concerns. Further work is needed to create a robust strategic framework for building and implementing a national lifestyle medicine curriculum.
If you are interested in transforming medical education to include Lifestyle Medicine, we invite your participation and support.
Presented by the Bipartisan Policy Center,
Alliance for a Healthier Generation and American College of Sports Medicine
October 17, 2013
Jennifer Trilk, Clinical Professor at the USC School of Medicine Greenville, presented on innovative approaches being taken by medical schools around the country to increase nutrition and physical activity training.