I grew up knowing that if I got sick I would go to my doctor and he/she would help me get better. I went they listened, they prescribed medication, I took it. I got better. Sometimes they would need to change the medication but I always got better. So in my head I felt that the pills with the help of my doctor were the perfect prescription for health. I never once questioned it.
Today questioning is all I do! Who would have thought that you can get better without a procedure or pills? NOT ME! That was until I found out I had severe heart disease. You may know my story. I was on a gurney headed to bypass surgery when my doctor asked if I would consider a nutritional change instead of triple by-pass surgery. I said yes and without any pills or procedures I made the change from meat, dairy, and oil to fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains and I am well.
I wanted to thank someone or something for the miracle I was given. I started by wanting to have Blue Cross/Blue Shield approve a whole food plant-based cooking class so I could learn how to make different foods taste better. You see I was more of a dairy and meat guy than a vegetable, fruit and bean person. After 2-3 months of not getting any place, I was told that I would have to work with the Michigan legislature to make a billing code change happen. I realized just how tough it would be. While I like challenges, I also realized that so many people would suffer while I was trying to make this change.
Instead, I started the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group (PBNSG). Today we have 3100+ members, created Medical Course Material for 1st and 2nd year medical students to learn about nutrition before pills or procedures, and worked with one very large company to help educate their employees the importance of health. This should be enough for anyone right? Not me! When I first started PBNSG, I called or emailed 100+ doctors around the city and asked them if they would be interested in learning about nutrition. I received one call and swore I was done with doctors. That was PBNSG’s motivation to help create Medical Course Material for future doctors.
So what am I doing? At our January 10th meeting I talked about empowering ourselves to go ask our doctors to learn about nutritional health. PBNSG would provide a peer doctor instructor and all we are asking from all of our doctors is one hour of time maybe twice a year. After all the doctors did sign a Hippocratic Oath. Here is the line from the Hippocratic Oath that stops me in my tracks every time I read it. “…I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure…” Every time I read this it takes my breath away. So what am I doing? Is providing the doctors with a peer doctor instructor right? Rosa Parks once said “You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right!” Doctors teaching doctors is right.