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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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« Most doctors see religion as beneficial, study says | Main | Patients can manage their own care better, researchers argue »

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Teaching doctors to teach patients about lifestyle

Two years ago, a group of doctors founded an organization with the goal of making lifestyle medicine -- how daily habits affect health -- a credentialed clinical specialty and a part of basic medical training, according to a story in today's New York Times. Now the group, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, has a new publication, The American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

"We know lifestyle interventions can be very powerful," often more effective than drugs or surgery, said Dr. JoAnn Manson, a professor of epidemiology at Harvardís School of Public Health and a member of the editorial board of the new journal. "But we need to provide the scientific evidence on how to incorporate that knowledge into practice."

Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health and a member of the lifestyle medicine collegeís board of advisers, said primary caregivers should be trained in lifestyle medicine.
Dr. Thomas W. Rowland,
chief of pediatric cardiology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, counters that the principles of lifestyle medicine should be at medicine's core and not a separate specialty.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 09:52 AM
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