The American College of Lifestyle Medicine has launched a new searchable online directory to help patients identify and contact clinicians in their communities who are certified in the rapidly growing field of lifestyle medicine. The clinician directory is located at www.lifestylemedpros.org.
Lifestyle medicine is an evidence-based medical specialty that utilizes therapeutic lifestyle interventions as a primary modality to treat chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity. There are six pillars of lifestyle medicine: a whole-food, plant-predominant eating pattern, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances, and positive social connection. According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes and 40 percent of cancer could be prevented, primarily with improvements to diet and lifestyle.
Since the first lifestyle medicine certification exam was held in 2017, the number of certified diplomates has grown to 2,004 physicians and 778 nonphysician health professionals. Certification signifies that clinicians completed a minimum of 30 hours of lifestyle medicine continuing education (CE/CME), gathered at least 10 hours of in-person CE/CME from a lifestyle medicine conference and passed rigorous certification exams.
However, it is often challenging for patients to easily determine which clinicians in their areas are certified to practice lifestyle medicine. ACLM’s new “Find a Lifestyle Medicine Clinician” directory allows patients to filter their searches by distance radius from a street address or zip code and by clinician type, such as lifestyle medicine physicians or other lifestyle medicine health professionals, lifestyle medicine coaches, international lifestyle medicine clinicians or lifestyle medicine intensivists.
“Clinicians are increasingly embracing lifestyle medicine as the foundation of all health care and patients are increasingly tired of addressing only the symptoms of chronic disease with ever increasing, costly medications and procedures instead of addressing the root causes of their illnesses,” said ACLM President Cate Collings, MD, FACC, MS, DipABLM. “ACLM’s new directory of lifestyle medicine-certified health professionals is a useful resource to help connect patients to clinicians who are recognized for achieving a high competency at prescribing and supporting evidence-based, lifestyle behavior interventions. Everyone deserves access to the therapeutic benefits of lifestyle medicine and this directory is another important step in expanding that access to people whose health may greatly benefit.”