I can’t believe I’ve almost finished my fourth month of residency! As a family doctor, I’m experiencing many different and interesting areas of medicine. I love getting to work with such a diverse population of patients, ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics. Since I already had such a passion for plant-based nutrition before I went into medicine, I think constantly about the people I encounter and how this might be able to help them. Every day is a little difficult, seeing patients suffer so greatly from heart disease, diabetes and its complications, strokes, and other chronic diseases. Unfortunately, there is still much work to do in spreading the word.
The great news is I’ve seen some awesome progress so far and it is very exciting for me! Just last week, in my clinic, I met one patient who started a plant-based diet a couple months ago on his own. I gave a little talk to a group of diabetes patients and there was quite a bit of interest. I introduced plant-based nutrition to another patient and she was so excited to try it. I also spoke on the phone with a patient of one of my colleagues, who is very excited to attend the October PBNSG meeting. These may be small steps forward but it really speaks to the importance of teaching doctors about the power of plant-based nutrition as a treatment for chronic diseases. Patients are listening and they are interested in it. If more doctors start introducing the power of plant-based foods to their patients, I know we will make such a difference for public health.
Yours in health,
Jamie Qualls, DO, MPH
PGY-1 Family Medicine Resident
St. John Providence / Ascension Health