Two Middlesex Physicians Earn Lifestyle Medicine Certification
Dr. Mahima Gulati, a Middlesex Health endocrinologist, and Dr. Anne Bingham, of Crescent Street OB/GYN, recently became board certified in the emerging field of lifestyle medicine. Few physicians in the country have earned this honor, and Dr. Gulati is the only endocrinologist to be certified in lifestyle medicine in Connecticut.
“I did this because I’ve seen this huge waste of our money and our time spent on chronic diseases,” Dr. Gulati says. “It can be avoided. As doctors, we need to pay attention. How many medications can you give a diabetic patient?”
Lifestyle medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a whole food, plant-based diet; physical activity; adequate sleep; stress management; avoidance of risky substance abuse and other non-drug modalities, to prevent, treat and, oftentimes, reverse chronic disease. The American Board of Lifestyle Medicine was founded in 2015, and there have been only two cohorts of medical professionals in the United States to be certified in this field – five cohorts globally.
“The work to become board certified dovetailed with my passion about food as medicine,” Dr. Bingham says. “Most often, it is lifestyle that gets us into trouble with our health, and it is exciting to empower our patients with the evidence that lifestyle can get us out of that trouble. I’m hoping that one day, healthcare providers of all kinds – from registered nurses, physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses, doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathic medicine to dieticians and physical and occupational therapists – receive this education in school. Until then, this education is available through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.”
As physicians who already spend time talking with patients about their lifestyles, Dr. Gulati and Dr. Bingham recognize the importance of addressing things like diet, exercise, stress management and social connectivity, and they are both hoping to do even more in this area now that they are certified in lifestyle medicine.
- Everyone can benefit from eating more veggies. Try to consume five cup or more cups of vegetables each day. Eat the rainbow!
- Consume three cups of fruit each day.
- Every 20 minutes get up and move! Stretch or take a walk. Incorporate more physical activity into your day. For the average person, the goal should be 10,000 steps a day.
- Do your best not to undone your hard work! Plan your meals ahead and surround yourself with likeminded people who will hold you accountable.