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Core Competencies of Lifestyle Medicine

The following core competencies of lifestyle medicine were identified in "Physician Competencies for Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine" (JAMA, 2010, 304(2):202-203) and are incorporated in the Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Online Program for doctors, allied health professionals, students and residents.

Leadership

  • Promote healthy behaviors as foundational to medical care, disease prevention, and health promotion.
  • Seek to practice healthy behaviors and create school, work, and home environments that support healthy behaviors.

Knowledge

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the evidence that specific lifestyle changes can have a positive effect on patients’ health outcomes.
  • Describe ways that physician engagement with patients and families can have a positive effect on patients’ health behaviors.

Assessment Skills

  • Assess the social, psychological, and biological predispositions of patients’ behaviors and the resulting health outcomes.
  • Assess patient and family readiness, willingness, and ability to make health behavior changes.
  • Perform a history and physical examination specific to lifestyle-related health status, including lifestyle "vital signs" such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity, body mass index, stress level, sleep, and emotional well-being. Based on this assessment, obtain and interpret appropriate tests to screen, diagnose, and monitor lifestyle-related diseases.

Management Skills

  • Use nationally recognized practice guidelines (such as those for hypertension and smoking cessation) to assist patients in self-managing their health behaviors and lifestyles.
  • Establish effective relationships with patients and their families to effect and sustain behavioral change using evidence-based counseling methods and tools and follow-up.
  • Collaborate with patients and their families to develop evidence-based, achievable, specific, written action plans such as lifestyle prescriptions.
  • Help patients manage and sustain healthy lifestyle practices, and refer patients to other health care professionals as needed for lifestyle-related conditions.

Use of Office and Community Support

  • Have the ability to practice as an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals and support a team approach.
  • Develop and apply office systems and practices to support lifestyle medical care including decision support technology.
  • Measure processes and outcomes to improve quality of lifestyle interventions in individuals and groups of patients.
  • Use appropriate community referral resources that support the implementation of healthy lifestyles.
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AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) is the world's flagship professional medical association for physicians, clinicians and allied health professionals, as well as those in professions devoted to advancing the mission of lifestyle medicine.

       

© 2015 American College of Lifestyle Medicine

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