Doha – September 16, 2023: In an initiative designed to promote the application of lifestyle medicine in healthcare delivery amongst healthcare practitioners, Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) offered a certificate program developed by the college’s Institute for Population Health (IPH).
The 60-hour Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine (CLM) provides healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to use evidence-based therapeutic lifestyle medicine approaches to prevent and manage lifestyle-related chronic health conditions to reduce morbidity, and complications and suffering associated with the disease.
The evidence-based practice adopts behavioral interventions through positive lifestyle habits such as regular physical activity, eating a balanced whole-food diet, adequate sleep, tobacco cessation, stress management, and other non-drug methods to prevent, treat and manage chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer.
The course is aimed at educating and inspiring healthcare professionals about the preventative and therapeutic role of lifestyle medicine, and its impacts in helping to improve health outcomes, reduce healthcare costs and reshape the delivery of healthcare to make it more holistic and sustainable.
The latest edition of the course was delivered by local and international speakers and the program attracted participants from Qatar and overseas.
The speakers were Dr. Javaid Sheikh, dean of WCM-Q; Dr. Ravinder Mamtani, WCM-Q professor of population health sciences and vice dean for population health and lifestyle medicine, and professor of medicine at the Center for Global Health; Dr. Sohaila Cheema, associate professor of clinical population health sciences and assistant dean at IPH; Dr. Ahmad Al Mulla, senior consultant of public health and disease control, and director of Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC)Tobacco Control Center.
Other speakers included Simon Matthews, adjunct lecturer, Avondale University of Lifestyle Medicine and Health Research Centre, Australia; Sarah Burshan, psychologist and learning support specialist at WCM-Q; Dr. Shahrad Taheri, senior consultant in endocrinology at HMC; Dr. Benjamin Kligler, national director of the Integrative Health Coordinating Center for the Veterans Health Administration, professor of family and community medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA; Dr. Wayne Dysinger, lifestyle medicine physician, USA; and Stephan Herzog, executive director, American and International Boards of Lifestyle Medicine, USA.
The topics discussed included the relationship between lifestyle health and non-communicable disease patterns, healthy diets and their benefits, healthy food choices and labels, healthy behavior change and cognitive-behavioral therapy, positive psychology in clinical practice, healthy behaviors which support connectedness, mental and emotional well-being, health hazards of tobacco use, health benefits of physical activity, micronutrients and nutritional supplements, , and Lifestyle Medicine approach for chronic disease management, besides others.
In his presentation titled “Building Resilience,” Dr. Sheikh who is also professor of psychiatry, and professor of population health sciences at WCM-Q, examined the reasons as to why resilience is increasingly important in modern life, and how it can be enhanced by all individuals.
Dr. Mamtani spoke about the need for greater focus on lifestyle medicine approaches. He said: “There is scientific evidence that lifestyle diseases can be prevented, treated, and even reversed by adopting healthy lifestyle measures. In the recent past, healthcare systems across the world have embraced blending lifestyle medicine with the conventional approach, in order to provide the best health outcomes to the population. By offering this certificate program, IPH aims to keep healthcare providers up to date with the latest developments in lifestyle medicine to help in improving healthcare delivery and population health.”
The certificate program is designed to support the public health goals set out in Qatar National Vision 2030.
Locally, the course is accredited by the Department of Healthcare Professions (DHP) of the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) and internationally by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME).