A Visit from Dr. Michael Greger

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What an amazing day! Sharing Dr. Michael Greger with the medical students by day and the Plant Based Nutrition Support Group by night. It was one of the busiest days I've had of my 2nd year but it was worth every minute.
Do yourself, your family and your patients a favor and check out Greger's new book, "How Not to Die."
I'm only 2 chapters deep in the audiobook and can't get enough!

-Amanda Martin


AMA PRA Category 1 Credits APPROVED!

It’s been a LONG road (and more paperwork than I care to admit) but we are finally approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits for Dr. Greger’s talk on the evening of December 15th.

What are you waiting for? Navigate to our events section and purchase your tickets now…I’ll wait.

Welcome back!

In case you’ve never heard of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits I’d like to share with you what an accomplishment and honor this is to be able to offer this for our group.

Each year medical professionals need to acquire a given number of continuing medical education credits (CMEs) to satisfy their license requirements.

This setup is ESSENTIAL in the practice of medicine because we are constantly gaining new knowledge and insight into the progression of disease and how to prevent and treat it. The CMEs are an incentive for medical professionals to continue on their journey of lifelong education in honor of providing the best and most up-to-date care for their patients.

Dr. Greger’s discussion on the evidence-based medicine supporting a plant-based lifestyle is the perfect opportunity to provide education on an exceedingly important topic. Armed with the knowledge gained from this discussion, medical professionals will be able to incorporate aspects of a plant-based lifestyle in each of their unique practices of medicine, and enhance the health of their current and future patients.

So please join us for a PBNSG FIRST on the evening of December 15th.

Amanda Martin

A new type of health prevention is in our future

On August 13, 2015, some first and second-year medical students at Wayne State University, along with members of Plant Based Nutrition Support Group, held the first of a series of 10 “Lunch and Learns” to educate future doctors on the benefits of a plant-based diet. Thirty interested medical students heard about how nutrition plays a vital role in promoting health. PBNSG hopes that these soon-to-be doctors will ask their patients, “What do you eat?” as the first line of defense before prescribing pills and procedures. 

Each attendee received a plant-based meal deliciously prepared by Amber Poupore, owner of both The Clean Plate and Cacao Tree restaurants. While enjoying their lunch, PBNSG members Shannon Farrell, Jeremy Glogower, and Paul Chatlin shared their stories of success when they switched to a plant-based diet. After 45 minutes of Q&A, this amazing event of hope concluded. Thanks go out to both Amanda Martin and Brittany Vanhouten, Wayne State University Medical 2nd and 3rd year students and PBNSG members for coordinating this new beginning for the future of health care.
 

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Plant-Based Student Research

Carrie Bellomy is an Occupational Therapist as well as a doctoral student at Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Carrie reached out to PBNSG, looking for subjects to interview as part of her course work for a Qualitative Research class. Carrie has been plant-based for a few years and believes this is the path for people to regain health and wellness in this country. Carrie asked for the opportunity to interview some of our group members to gain insight into the challenges and benefits of this lifestyle transition to assist with development of a treatment protocol for high-risk patients. Today we met and assisted Carrie with her research.

We hope we can assist many more students to promote the plant-based message!

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Slowly, but surely...

After all, each and every one of us in medicine came to this field with grandiose ideas of helping PEOPLE and curing disease, not merely treating symptoms.

Updating medical school curriculum impacts the education of generations of doctors and thus, does not happen overnight, nor did we expect it to. Anything worth doing is worth doing RIGHT, and inevitably that takes some time. 

Still, we have been making progress toward our goal of bringing plant-based nutrition to Wayne State University School of Medicine. This past month, Amanda met with the course director for the 2nd year Cardiopathology course, Dr. Shaun Cardozo. It was apparent Dr. Cardozo cares a great deal for his students’ education. He is on board to extend the discussion about plant-based nutrition and its role in cardiovascular disease; furthermore, having trained under Dr. Kim Williams, MD, president of the American College of Cardiology (and outspoken plant-based physician), Dr. Cardozo already incorporates diet while counseling his patients. In addition to being completely supportive of our efforts, he also suggested we poll the faculty and students about their base knowledge of plant-based nutrition so that we might better tailor our education material. So be on the look out for updates on this project as well! Currently, we are designing a survey and will work towards submitting it for IRB approval.

Anything worth doing is worth doing RIGHT, and inevitably that takes some time.

If you have any suggestions on what you think your doctor should know about plant-based nutrition PLEASE email us a question you’d like to incorporate in our survey!

Amanda also had the opportunity to meet with the course directors for the 1st year nutrition course. Unfortunately, this meeting was nothing like the last. Ultimately Ms. Reinhard and Ms. Width agreed to disagree concerning the notion that there is one best path towards optimal health; moving closer to a whole-foods plant-based diet and away from animal products. It was their opinion that the reason there is no consensus on the “best diet” is because there isn’t one best way to eat. 

In order to understand the resistance to the published literature on plant-based nutrition it’s important to realize a few things about the way research gets translated into consensus and thus, medical practice. There is currently an emphasis on randomized double-blinded controlled studies as the gold standard for “proof” that a pill works or, in our case, if a diet works. However, this standard is not necessarily appropriate in all disciplines, nutrition being one of them (due to the impossibility of blinding patients to what they eat). Deciphering what evidence is convincing and when the burden of proof has been met for certain fields is a skill that all future physicians absolutely need to learn and is encompassed by the "art of medicine." That is, the research will not always be black and white. In certain situations a physician must look at the quality of the research (even given the shortcomings of a small trial or the trial not being randomized) and decide if it is compelling enough to give their patient the best shot at a healthy life. 

Our challenge is, and has been, convincing individuals to take a hard look at the studies and to connect that information to the real life patient results. Only through doing this can you begin to truly understand the impact that is possible with plant-based nutrition. After all, each and every one of us in medicine came to this field with grandiose ideas of helping PEOPLE and curing disease, not merely treating symptoms. Patient-centered medicine ought to be the end goal of any and all treatment considerations, and fortunately for us, plant-based nutrition is wholly concerned with helping patients live their most fulfilling, happiest, and healthiest lives.  

There is still much work to be done and we will keep moving forward, setting up meetings with other faculty in other courses. We continue to have the support of the Assistant Dean of Basic Science Education, Dr. Matt Jackson, and are working directly with him to coordinate these meetings. His support in helping us achieve our goals has been instrumental to our successes thus far, and we are so appreciative of his efforts on our behalf. 

I am positive that we have the right people at the right time to make magic happen here at Wayne State University School of Medicine. We have the opportunity to lead the charge in plant-based nutrition in medical education, and I am confident in our abilities to make this happen! I can’t think of a better copilot to take this project on with than Amanda, whose persistence and commitment to the cause are contagious.

Watch out world! We are coming for you!

The Future is Indeed Bright

It is time to reclaim our role as healers, not just technicians
— Dr. Dean Ornish

For those searching for hope that a whole foods plant-based lifestyle is gaining ground in the medical community, look no further. This past weekend, May 29th-31st, Brittany and I attended the first of its kind: an International Cardiovascular Nutrition Summit hosted by the president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Kim Williams. Presenting were Ivy-league educated leaders in their fields promoting the gold standard of disease prevention, plant-based nutrition.

After speaking with a few attendees it became apparent that many of them had not yet transitioned to a whole foods plant-based lifestyle. I must say, I found this to be the most inspiring bit of knowledge I gained. Individuals are now seeking information regarding the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle, changing their own lives, and passing on these lessons to their patients. This lifestyle is gaining ground, and it’s doing so quickly.

Thanks in large part to the efforts of all of you…those that are leading by example, unapologetically spreading the message, and arming yourselves, not only with evidence-based-medicine, but also with your own experiences, the latter of which can be far more compelling.

To echo the message of the presenters…it’s about time we start looking to treat the cause of disease rather than the symptoms because our nation’s healthcare system, our Earth, and our bodies can’t handle the status quo any longer.

Here is a list of the presenters if you’d like to get more information:

Dr. William Li (http://www.ted.com/talks/william_li?language=en
Dr. Kim Williams/Dr. Scott Stoll (http://plantricianproject.org
Dr. Dean Ornish (http://ornishspectrum.com
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. (http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/
Dr. William Roberts (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_C._Roberts)
Dr. Michael Greger (http://nutritionfacts.org
Dr. Terry Mason (http://www.forksoverknives.com/restart-for-health/
Dr. Joel Kahn (http://www.pbnsg.org/plant-a-question-on-the-dr/
Dr. Robert Ostfeld (http://www.montefiore.org/cardiacwellnessprogram
Dr. Columbus Batiste 

More information to come! Check back later this month to read about our progress at the medical school.

Brittany meets her hero - Dr. Esselstyn!

At the International Cardiovascular Nutrition Summit, Brittany met Caldwell Esselstyn and other plant-based luminaries, including Dr. Kahn! 

Brittany and Amanda are on their way to ensuring that their future practice is health care, not disease care and empowering their patients with the prescription to prevent, suspend, and even reverse disease. AMEN.

Learn about Brittany and Amanda's experiences in medical school by reading their column on this website - Flip The preSCRIPTion - boom!

We agree, Brittany.

We agree, Brittany.

A lot to live up to - we are pulling for you, Brittany!

A lot to live up to - we are pulling for you, Brittany!