Provider Tools for Implementing Lifestyle Medicine in Clinical Practice
We have ample knowledge about the benefits of plant-based diets for prevention and reversal of chronic disease, but providers lack the tools necessary to convey this information to patients in an effective and efficient manner. Time constraints as well as lack of training and confidence in counseling present barriers. Further, many primary care providers have not yet built the interdisciplinary team and community network necessary to assist their patients or may lack the support of their health system to begin to build this structure.
This presentation will review provider tools for implementing Lifestyle Medicine in clinical practice. Specifically, we will review the approach to the patient, materials for teaching simple concepts in the office, learning at home activities to engage patients between visits, and clinical pearls. Expected attendees may be trainees or established providers who are early in their Lifestyle Medicine career. At the rate that the American College of Lifestyle Medicine is growing, this topic will likely be of interest to a large fraction of conference attendees.
I obtained board certification in Family Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine in 2017 and began practice as a Family Medicine physician within a large hospital system in the fall of that year. In 2018, I completed a total of 3092 distinct “Lifestyle Medicine” patient encounters while averaging 3.5 clinical days per week and maintaining productivity equal to that of my strictly Family Medicine peers.
We will address several physician competencies for prescribing Lifestyle Medicine: (1) collaborate with patients to develop achievable, specific action plans, (2) help patients manage and sustain healthy lifestyle practices, and (3) develop and apply office systems and practices to support lifestyle medical care. Equipping providers with practice tools to promote lifestyle change will improve satisfaction for patients and providers alike and is an important step toward advancing the field of a Lifestyle Medicine.
- Understand the overall approach to office visits and become familiar with tools that will keep you efficient, most importantly, teaching aids to convey simple concepts in the office and learning at home activities to keep patients engaged
- Learn strategies to build a presence for your Lifestyle Medicine practice, both within your local professional network and within your medical community, and develop a panel of appropriate patients
- Gain satisfaction in your career and improve your patients’ experience by helping patients to make positive lifestyle changes