|President's DeskLiana Lianov, MD, MPH
Learning from Our Health Promotion Colleagues
Two fellow ACLM board members and I recently attended the Arts and Science of Health Promotion annual conference. ACLM is officially acknowledged as a partner organization for this meeting. I was prompted to consider lessons from the work of these colleagues. Many of them are worksite wellness program managers, health coaching professionals and health behavior researchers. Although lifestyle medicine practice settings are different, the struggles with facilitating health behavior change are similar.
The kick-off plenary featured David Maxfield, a behavioral researcher who recently authored the book Change Anything and offers a helpful framework on how to think about established behavior theories. He has an eloquent way of explaining the concept of reciprocal determinism - which emphasizes how we shape our environment and how the environment shapes us. The concept reminds us about the importance of helping patients consider their environment. In fact Dr. Garry Egger in his textbook lists how lifestyle medicine differs from conventional medicine by addressing the patient's environment among other factors.
Simply put, Dr. Maxfield's framework says that in order to achieve successful behavior change we must boost personal, social, and structural motivation, as well as personal, social, and structural ability. During motivational interviewing we nudge personal motivation. We also encourage patients to obtain social motivation by seeking support from family and friends. And we help patients with structural motivation by reminding them to make small changes in their environment that can have a large impact on behaviors.
The Lifestyle Medicine Movement
Lifestyle Medicine is not just a more recently deﬁned ﬁeld of health care knowledge and practice - it is a movement.
The only rational solution for the ills of modern health care is to move from a "consequence" treatment model to a "treat the cause" model. The current "consequence" model is spiraling out of control with ever-multiplying, expensive pills and procedures. Employers are desperate to ﬁnd ﬁscal sanity with their health care costs, and consumers are growing increasingly distrustful of a system driven by corporate proﬁt and fraught with skillfully hidden side effects and complications (think "Vioxx", or the news this week of Abbot pleading guilty and paying a $1.6 billion dollar fine for their criminal promotion of Depakote). The vacuum for sensible, quality health care is propelling the Lifestyle Medicine movement forward.
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) is the professional association of healthcare providers leading this movement. You - the members - are ACLM, and the leaders of this movement, making steady progress toward mainstream, large scale adoption. There is still a lot of work to be done, but it is exciting work and tremendous opportunity to be part of making a positive difference in the world.
Following are some of the main projects we are working on as an organization. There is plenty of room for you to become involved, help make connections, or otherwise contribute professionally to the movement - look for the"action items" below.
Lifestyle Medicine 2012 - The Annual ACLM Conference
ACLM returns to holding its own annual clinical conference! Last Fall we held the ﬁrst-ever Lifestyle Medicine practice management conference, and we continue to work with the American College of Preventive Medicine on Lifestyle Medicine content in association with their annual conference in February of each year. But there is nothing like bringing together the best and brightest in Lifestyle Medicine for teaching providers how to effectively "treat the cause."continue reading on our website- click here