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WCM-Q announces lifestyle medicine symposium to tackle chronic disease

A two-day symposium on lifestyle medicine is being offered by WCM-Q on February 19-20, 2019. Healthcare professionals, researchers and educators are invited to sign up to attend.
A two-day symposium on lifestyle medicine is being offered by WCM-Q on February 19-20, 2019. Healthcare professionals, researchers and educators are invited to sign up to attend.

Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar is to run a two-day symposium on lifestyle medicine and how it can be used to successfully treat and prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The symposium, which is open to healthcare professionals, researchers and educators, will explain how measures such as regular exercise, healthy nutrition, stress management, adequate sleep and avoidance of substance abuse can prevent, treat and in some cases even reverse chronic diseases.

Participants will learn how to perform a comprehensive evaluation of a patient’s health with reference to their lifestyle habits, how to provide effective guidance and prescriptions for nutrition and exercise, and how to utilize behavioral coaching methods to help patients maintain healthy lifestyle habits in the long term.

The two-day symposium will take place at WCM-Q’s campus at Education City on Tuesday February 19 and Wednesday February 20 and is titled ‘Lifestyle Medicine: An Emerging Healthcare Trend that Inspires’. The symposium is being coordinated by WCM-Q’s Institute for Population Health and will feature a number of international lifestyle medicine experts as speakers, including Dr. Wayne S. Dysinger, formerly president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and current president of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine, and Dr. Darren Morton of Avondale College of Higher Education in New South Wales, Australia.

Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, senior associate dean for population health, capacity building and student affairs, is a strong advocate of lifestyle medicine and has worked with collaborators in the US and Qatar to encourage its use in the Gulf region. In 2017, he became one of the first doctors in the world to be certified by the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM) and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine (IBLM).

Dr. Mamtani said: “We all know the old adage that prevention is better than a cure but in conventional medicine we often only see patients once they present at a clinic with symptoms, by which time they are already ill. In contrast, lifestyle medicine focuses on promoting wellness by adopting healthy behaviors in all aspects of our lives, helping us to stay disease-free. This is extremely important in this era and in this region, where lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers are highly prevalent.”

Dr. Sohaila Cheema, director of the WCM-Q Institute for Population Health, and certified diplomate by IBLM explained that lifestyle medicine is not just about prevention, however.

She said: “Evidence shows that positive lifestyle changes can often also be used as effective treatments for some chronic diseases – for example, improving your diet can help treat or even reverse diabetes, and can help control heart disease by reducing unhealthy cholesterol levels. It is important to note, however, that lifestyle medicine approaches are not meant to be substitutes for conventional treatments and patients should never stop taking medications or following treatments without speaking to their doctor.”

The course incorporates lectures and interactive workshops that will show participants how to tailor lifestyle medicine approaches to meet the individual needs of patients, such as how to prescribe exercise regimes and dietary changes appropriate to the age, health, fitness and body type of patients. They will also examine the evidence base for lifestyle medicine interventions and discuss opportunities for implementing lifestyle medicine in healthcare.

The course is accredited locally by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners-Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD) and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).

For more information and to register for the course visit