Who I am
I am a traditionally trained western medicine physician, taught and practiced in the art and science of taking a history, conducting a physical examination, making a diagnosis and planning treatment with medication or surgery.
Practicing medicine now for 30+ years has taught me the importance of vaccination, dialysis, the discovery of antibiotics, as well as the discovery of many other surgical procedures and medical innovations. This is part of the reason why our lifespan has increased. However, in spite of clear and considerable progress over the past century, chronic diseases are now on the rise. This may in part be related to better life expectancy, but is also in large part due to lifestyle choices. We now live longer lives but not necessarily healthier lives. I recall many of my senior patients saying to me “Doc, I don’t know what they mean by The Golden Years because all I seem to do is go from doctor’s appointment to doctor’s appointment!”
That same experience of 30+ years has taught me the value of adding lifestyle interventions into a patient’s medical treatment prescription. I've realized that although western medicine has an important role to play in treating and managing disease, integrating lifestyle medicine is just as important, if not more, in treating non-communicable diseases which are causing a heavy burden on the health of our communities and on our medical system. I have a family history of chronic diseases, and while I don't know if it's caused by genetics or lifestyle, I know that I want to live a life free of chronic diseases. I want to live a life full of energy and purpose and if I live to 100, I want it to be a happy and healthy life! I want to be able to run around and play with my grandchildren and have as much energy as they have! I knew I could only do this if I changed my behaviour and incorporated lifestyle interventions into my daily living. It has helped me on my journey to better health and I hope to teach my patients how to take that same journey with me.
There are many reasons why lifestyle medicine may not be the right approach for a particular patient at a particular time. However, lifestyle medicine IS evidence based medical care – it is the cutting edge of conventional medicine. Patients who require acute or chronic traditional medical care should be able to receive it when they need it. Lifestyle medicine is a long-term approach to good health and disease prevention.