An Evidence-Based Approach to Lifestyle Medicine

This four-week elective course, available to WCM-Q senior medical students, will provide the knowledge and skills required in the prevention and treatment of lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle Medicine (LM) is defined as “evidence-based practice of helping individuals and families adopt and sustain healthy behaviors that affect health and quality of life” (American College of Lifestyle Medicine).

LM can effectively prevent, treat and or even reverse many chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes, obesity, depression/anxiety and cancer. This course incorporates relevant lifestyle medicine competencies into our medical school curriculum. These competencies relate to leadership, knowledge, assessment skills, management skills and use of community support (Lianov, L, Physician competencies for prescribing LM, JAMA, July 14, 2010).

Topics discussed in the course include:

  1. Introduction to LM and leadership
  2. Health behavior change
  3. Nutrition
  4. Emotional/mental health
  5. Sleep
  6. Disease management
  7. Substance abuse
  8. Clinical processes

The course, involving a total of 90 contact hours, is delivered by means of didactic lectures and small group interactive discussions, and providing lab and clinical experience. The clinical experience will require students to perform LM clinical evaluation on patients with chronic diseases, and help them learn how to manage such patients using evidence-based LM approaches.

In developing this course, the Institute of Population Health, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar acknowledges and appreciates the support received from the American College/Board of Lifestyle Medicine.

Course objectives
  • Define lifestyle medicine, and discuss its competencies.
  • Discuss and examine the evidence of lifestyle medicine interventions in the prevention and management of chronic disease.
  • Consider lifestyle medicine prescriptions for various chronic diseases.
  • Define addiction and review LM strategies to address substance abuse.