First-of-its-Kind Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum Equips Physicians to Counsel Patients and Improve Care Quality, Adhering to MACRA Requirements

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A new lifestyle medicine medical education program released today provides physicians with interventions and coaching tools to help prevent, treat, and reverse the progression of many lifestyle-related chronic diseases.

Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Program Online Course Debuts

Clinicians and employers dedicated to the health of their communities needed this type of evidence-based guide and training to be able to help their patients achieve optimal health and ease their suffering from chronic ailments.

The Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Program, launched today, is the first medical curriculum to comprehensively address the knowledge and skill gaps doctors cite as major barriers to counseling patients about lifestyle interventions.

Participating physicians gain a foundation of knowledge in lifestyle medicine and learn new therapeutic tools to incorporate into practice that can help prevent, treat, and reverse lifestyle-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The program also establishes a new standard for primary care focused on disease prevention, health promotion, and care coordination—all aspects of value based care being advanced as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). These new requirements will require physicians to redefine their role in health by increasingly counseling patients on lifestyle choices and prescribing behavioral interventions.

"The topics covered, along with the evidence base, represent critical competencies physicians didn’t learn in medical school and residency training," said Liana Lianov, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACLM, past president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, former American College of Preventive Medicine Board member and the project’s Director of Faculty. "As the first comprehensive learning tool in lifestyle medicine and a catalyst moving the health system toward patient-centered preventive care and lifestyle change treatments, the program gives practitioners the foundation for providing effective behavior modification and lifestyle prescriptions to their patients."

Clinicians enrolled in the program will gain a better understanding on how to counsel patients regarding topics such as nutrition, physical activity, weight management, stress reduction, sleep health, behavior change, alcohol use, tobacco cessation, and others.

Developed by the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) and American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), the curriculum is built on the core competencies of lifestyle medicine as identified by a blue ribbon panel of medical specialty societies and published in the cornerstone JAMA article “Physician Competencies for Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine” in 2010. The panel was jointly led by ACPM and ACLM and included the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Osteopathic Association, American College of Sports Medicine, and American Medical Association.

“This course is groundbreaking and a critical contribution to the everyday practice of medicine,” said Project Sponsor Dexter Shurney, MD, MBA, MPH, Cummins chief medical director, executive director global health and wellness. “Clinicians and employers dedicated to the health of their communities needed this type of evidence-based guide and training to be able to help their patients achieve optimal health and ease their suffering from chronic ailments.”

The program is available for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dietitians, health coaches, and other allied health professionals in all specialties with an interest in learning the basic principles of lifestyle medicine. Lifestyle medicine is a branch of evidence-based medicine in which comprehensive lifestyle changes are used to help prevent, treat, and reverse the progression of many chronic diseases by addressing their underlying causes.

“Standard medical care often misses the big picture,” said Dan Blumenthal, MD, MPH, FACPM, President of ACPM. “The greatest health care value will not simply be achieved through the effective coordination and management of chronic disease, but by moving upstream to avoid disease altogether, most critically with the use of lifestyle interventions central in this program and capable of reducing a patients risk for or progression toward disease.”

For additional information about the program, visit the ACLM website, ACPM website, or contact ACPM Associate Executive Director Danielle Pere at lmccinfo(at)acpm(dot)org or (202) 466-2044 x105, or ACLM Executive Director Susan Benigas at lmccinfo(at)lifestylemedicine(dot)org or (314) 398-7343.


The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) is a professional society for preventive medicine physician specialists who are uniquely trained in both clinical medicine and public health, and equipped to understand and reduce the risks of disease, disability, and death in individuals and in population groups.

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) is a professional society for physicians and medical professionals dedicated to the advancement and practice of lifestyle medicine as the foundation of a transformed and sustainable healthcare system, where lifestyle is used as a therapeutic intervention to prevent, suspend and even reverse chronic disease.

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