Become Certified in Lifestyle Medicine Practice

 

Treat, Reverse, and Prevent Chronic Disease by addressing the root causes of disease.

 


Education Mastery
Most physicians and health professionals receive little to no education on nutrition, physical activity, sleep, social connectivity, and the avoidance of risky substance use which are the six pillars of Lifestyle Medicine. 
Certification in Lifestyle Medicine indicates that the individual has mastered the science of  preventing, treating, and reversing chronic disease in an evidence-based manner with official acknowledgement from the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (for physicians and specialists) or the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (for professionals and practitioners).

Unique Advantage
Lifestyle Medicine Board Certified Physicians, Specialists, Professionals and Practitioners are recognized as subject matter experts in the field, giving them a hiring advantage for Lifestyle Medicine focused organizations and employers. A Lifestyle Medicine approach is enhanced with use of health behavior change coaching skills. Lifestyle Medicine has the power to decrease healthcare spending for both employers and patients, improve overall health outcomes, and activate patient autonomy and motivation for sustainable, lifelong behavior change.

Networking and Recognition 
Certification opens the door for valuable and rewarding networking, working and collaborating with like-minded professionals.
 
Eligibility
To certify as a Lifestyle Medicine Physician, there are 2 potential pathways:

1. Experiential Pathway (for current ABMS certified physicians)
  • You must be board-certified by a medical specialty board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) or the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) for US based physicians
  • You must be certified and registered to practice if you are a Canadian physician
  • You must have been primary board certified (USA) and practicing medicine for at least 2 years before being able to register for the ABLM exam

2. Educational Pathway (for residents)
  • You must complete the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum through a residency site. For a current list of residency sites, please visit https://lifestylemedicine.org/residency-curriculum
  • Please note that while you can sit for your ABLM exam after your residency, your certification will only be issued after you successfully passed your primary board exam.


Your certification will be issued by the ABLM for US/Canada based physicians, and by the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine (IBLM) for physicians outside North America.

Prerequisites
  • Current ABMS certification
  • 30 hours of online/non-live CME
  • 10 hours of in-person CME
  • A case study outlining your personal experience with lifestyle medicine (view PDF )
Eligibility
To certify as a Lifestyle Medicine Specialist you must be certified as a Lifestyle Medicine physician by ABLM.

Prerequisites
  • Current ABLM Lifestyle Medicine Physician certification
  • You must submit an application to the board of ABLM, using a template provided by ABLM upon request, evidencing that:
    • within a 7 year period, you have obtained 720h of clinical LM activity and 300h of scholarly LM activity
    • you have reversed chronic disease in your patients by submitting 12 separate case studies, each with min. 3 contact points over 6 months
  • You must pay a non-refundable US$500 application fee.
Your application will be reviewed and approved/declined and your certification issued by the ABLM board.
Eligibility
To certify as a Lifestyle Medicine Professional, you must hold a Masters or Doctorate degree in a health or allied health discipline such as: 
Credentials

Physician Assistant (PA)

Nurse (MSN, DNP)

Pharmacist (PharmD)

Registered Dietitian (RD, RDN)

Physical Therapist or Physiotherapist (DPT, MPT, MSPT)

Occupational Therapist (MOT, DOT)

Psychologist or Psychotherapist (PsyD, PhD)

Public Health Professional (MPH, DrPH)

Exercise Physiologist (C-EP)

Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)

Naturopathic Doctor (ND)

Chiropractor (DC)

Optometrist (OD)

Podiatrist (DPM)

Dentist (DDS, DMD)

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

Your certification will be issued by the ACLM for US/Canada based health practitioners, and by the IBLM for people outside North America

Prerequisites
  • Documentation of credentials
  • 30 hours of online/non-live CME
  • 10 hours of in-person CME
Eligibility
To certify as a Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner, you must hold a Bachelor degree in a health or allied health discipline such as:
Credentials

Registered Nurse (RN)

Registered Dietitian (RD, RDN)

Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)

Physician Assistant (PA)

Physical Therapist or Physiotherapist (PT)

Occupational Therapist (OT)

Pharmacist (RPh)

Professions listed in italics are grandfathered in by their professional associations and are therefore eligible to be certified as a Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner.

Your certification will be issued by the ACLM for US/Canada. The IBLM does not certify bachelor level health practitioners.

Prerequisites
  • Documentation of credentials
  • 30 hours of online/non-live CME 
  • 10 hours of in-person CME 
Online
In-Person
For all 2020 exams, “virtual” rather than “live” in-person CME are accepted. For 2021 exams, “live” in-person CME will be required again!

Rules

  • While the ABLM sets the certification competencies and Lifestyle Medicine standards, it is left up to the participants to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and experience from reputable sources.
  • CMEs must be no older than 36 months from the date of the exam
  • Proof of CMEs, credentials and case study must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the certification exam. CMEs from Lifestyle Medicine conferences immediately preceding an exam are exempt from the above 30 day rule.
    (Please note that exam results will not be communicated until all prerequisites have been submitted and approved.)
Exam Pricing
The cost to certify is a one-time fee, dependent on your registration level and ACLM membership status.
MDs and DOs
  • Non-refundable registration fee $299
  • ACLM member Certification fee $1,349 (Certification issued by ABLM and IBLM)
  • Non-member Certification fee $1,499 (Certification issued by ABLM and IBLM)
  • Optional MOC pathway $100 per year
PhD and Masters Level Health Professionals:
  • Non-refundable registration fee $199
  • ACLM member Certification fee $1,169 (Certification issued by ACLM and IBLM)
  • Non-member Certification fee $1,299 (Certification issued by ACLM and IBLM)
  • Optional MOC pathway $80 per year
Bachelor Level Nurses & Dietitians:
  • Non-refundable member fee $99
  • ACLM member Certification fee $900 (Certification issued by ACLM)
  • Non-member Certification fee $999 (Certification issued by ACLM)
  • Optional MOC pathway $60 per year
Exam Dates
  • 2021 Exam Schedule: November 27th to December 11th at a testing center of your choice (now enrolling) 
  • 2022 Exam Schedule: Orlando, November 17th, 2022
  • 2023 Exam Schedule: Denver, November 2nd, 2023
  • 2024 Exam Schedule: Orlando, October 31st, 2024

Exam Logistics
  • Exam duration: Maximum 4 hours
  • Exam items/questions: 150 multiple choice questions for Lifestyle Medicine physicians; 120 multiple choice questions for Lifestyle Medicine professionals and Lifestyle Medicine practitioners
  • Format: proctored exam, using own laptop or tablet (secure online exam dissemination)
     
While the ACLM adheres to the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) rule of full recertification after the end of every 10 year period, the ACLM/ABLM has launched an alternative Maintenance of Certification pathway, whereby Diplomates have the choice of a 10 year certification or on-going certification. On-going certification requires a yearly minimum payment, the annual reading of 3 LM related articles and answering a series of questions about these articles, and the submission of 30 LM related CME every 5 years.

Visit lmmoc.org to get started
Frequently Asked Questions:  DOWNLOAD PDF

ELIGIBILITY

What kind of health professionals are eligible to become certified as a Lifestyle Medicine Professional?

To certify as a Lifestyle Medicine Professional, you must hold a Masters or Doctorate degree as one of the following health professionals:
-Physician Assistant (PA)(NCCPA Certified)
-Nurse (MSN, DNP)
-Pharmacist (PharmD)
-Registered Dietitian (RD, RDN)
-Physical Therapist or Physiotherapist (DPT, MPT, MSPT)
-Occupational Therapist (DOT, MOT)
-Psychologist or Psychotherapists (PsyD, PhD)
-Exercise Physiologist (C-EP)
-Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT)
-Naturopathic Doctor (ND) (AANMC Certified)
-Chiropractor (DC)
-Optometrist (OD)
-Podiatrist (DPM)
-Dentist (DDS, DMD)
-Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
-Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)
-Public Health Professional (MPH, DrPH)
-Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC)
-Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

What kind of health professionals are eligible to become certified as a Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner?

To certify as a Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner, you must hold a Bachelors degree and be credentialed as one of the following health professionals:
-Nurse (RN)
-Registered Dietitian (RD, RDN)
-Physician Assistant (PA)
-Physical Therapist or Physiotherapist (PT)
-Occupational Therapist (OT)
-Pharmacist (RPh)


Professions listed in italics are grandfathered in by their professional associations and are therefore eligible to be certified as a Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner.

I have my associates degree. Am I eligible to sit for the ABLM exam?

We do not currently have an associate-level certification tier.

Do I have to have to have current credentialing as a health professional in order to be eligible for the exam?

Yes, in order to be eligible to sit for the ABLM exam, you must provide proof of current credentials.

If I am a medical student, am I eligible and what is my path to become certified?

As a medical student, here are some next steps to consider:

Consider applying for a residency program that has adopted and incorporated the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum (LMRC) to become eligible for the ABLM exam through the Educational Pathway. List of sites can be found at lifestylemedicine.org/residency- curriculum OR Consider pursuing certification after residency by completing the CME prerequisites through the Experiential Pathway. You can qualify for the certification exam after 2 years experience in your specialty field. Attend a Lifestyle Medicine conference or register for an online course to start learning today! Note: all CME prerequisites must less than 36 months from the date of the exam.

If I am a resident or just completed residency, what is my path to become certified?

If you are in a residency program without the LMRC as the Educational Pathway to certification, you can become eligible through the Experiential Pathway post residency. Whether you are a resident or recently boarded in a specialty, we recommend that you attend a Lifestyle Medicine conference or register for an online course to start learning today! Note: all CME prerequisites must less than 36 months from the date of the exam.

If I am a physician but did not complete residency training, am I eligible to sit for the exam?

Physicians must be ABMS certified in order to be eligible to sit for the exam and become ABLM certified.

I am interested in getting certified but am not based or licensed in the US. What are my next steps?

Please visit iblm.co and contact info@iblm.co for more information.

Is the Lifestyle Medicine Residency Curriculum (LMRC) pathway for certification available for non-physicians?

The LMRC was first launched as a pilot in 2018 and is a 2-3 year curriculum. The LMRC is only available as the Educational Pathway for physician residencies at this time with the potential to create Educational Pathways for non-physicians training programs in the future.

Is the Lifestyle Medicine Specialist certification available for non-physicians?

The Lifestyle Medicine Specialist certification is currently only available as an option for physicians.

If I become certified as a bachelor-level Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner (bachelor-level) then complete a master degree, would I be eligible to upgrade to a Lifestyle Medicine Professional? If so, how does this work?

If a bachelor-level Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner completes their master degree, they can contact us and simply pay the difference to be transitioned into the Lifestyle Medicine Professional category.

Are Health Coaches eligible for certification? If so, what is the certification path? Does the Lifestyle Medicine for Coaches course serve as a prerequisite for the exam?

Health coaches are not eligible to become certified as a Lifestyle Medicine Professional or Practitioner and the Lifestyle Medicine for Coaches course does not serve as a prerequisite to sit for the ABLM exam. Rather, there is a different path for health coaches to pursue for certification in Lifestyle Medicine. Health coaches that have earned the "National Board Certified - Health and Wellness Coach" (NBC-HWC) designation from NBHWC
or are a Certified Wellcoach® through Wellcoaches, may complete the Lifestyle Medicine for Coaches course to earn the "Lifestyle Medicine Coach" (LMC) Certificate upon course completion. The course is available to anyone for a "Certificate of Attendance" following course completion. Visit lifestylemedicine.org/lifestyle- medicine-for-coaches for more information.

PREREQUISITES

What are the approved online 30-CME prerequisites to sit for the ABLM exam?

The approved prerequisites are found at ablm.co/how-to- certify and are listed below.

The ABLM accepts Online CMEs of the following programs/providers:
• Lifestyle Medicine Board Review Course 2nd Edition
• ACLM/ACPM Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies (LMCC)
• Cornell certificate in plant-based nutrition
• Doane University Lifestyle Medicine Professional Certificate Program
• Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine

Rules:
While the ABLM sets the certification competencies and Lifestyle Medicine standards, it is left up to the participants to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and experience from reputable sources.
CMEs must be no older than 36 months from the date of the exam.

Proof of CMEs, credentials and case study must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the certification exam. (Please note that exam results will not be communicated until all prerequisites have been submitted and approved.)

What are the approved in-person 10-CME prerequisites to sit for the ABLM exam?

The approved prerequisites are found at ablm.co/how-to- certify and are listed below.

The ABLM accepts In-Person CMEs of the following programs/providers:
(for all 2020 exams, “virtual” rather than “live” in-person CME are accepted! For 2021 exams, “live” in-person CME will be required again!)
• ACLM conferences & workshops (CME)
• Institute of Lifestyle Medicine (Harvard) conferences (CME)
• Food as Medicine conferences (CME)
• International Plant Based Nutrition Healthcare Conferences (CME)
• ACPM conference, lifestyle medicine stream (CME)
• Plant Based Prevention of Disease Conferences
• PCRM International Conferences on Nutrition in Medicine
• Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar, Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine

Rules:
CMEs must be no older than 36 months from the date of the exam.

Proof of CMEs, credentials and case study must be submitted at least 30 days prior to the certification exam. CMEs from Lifestyle Medicine conferences immediately preceding an exam are exempt from the above 30 day rule.

(Please note that exam results will not be communicated until all prerequisites have been submitted and approved.)

Do the prerequisites to sit for the board exam offer CME? CE?

ACLM offers the following CME/CE approved prerequisites to sit for the ABLM exam:
• The Foundations of Lifestyle Medicine Board Review offers 30 CME/CE. For details, visit lifestylemedicine.org/boardreview
• The Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies offers 32 CME/CE. For details, visit lifestylemedicine.org/LMCC

What is the difference between the Lifestyle Medicine Board Review and the Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies?

The Foundations of Lifestyle Medicine Board Review (LMBR) offers 30 CME/CE. The course is self-study with 24 hours of CME/CE offered for reading/reviewing the board review manual and answering quiz questions. There are also 6 hours of online high-level overview review lectures. So those who benefit from this learning style may prefer the LMBR. For details, visit lifestylemedicine.org/boardreview

The Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies (LMCC) offers 32 CME/CE. There are 32 hours of self-paced voice-over PPT lectures modules, so those who benefit from this style of learning may prefer the LMCC. For details, visit lifestylemedicine.org/LMCC

How long are the CME prerequisites valid?

CMEs must be no older than 36 months from the date of the exam. 

Can you share more information about the Case Study required for physicians? Is this required before taking the exam? Is there a template? Where is it found?

The case study is an exam prerequisite and an opportunity to provide information on a Lifestyle Medicine intervention that took place either in your own life or in the life of one of your patients. The case study will include items such as diagnosis, LM modalities prescribed, pre/post intervention biometrics, medications, and more. There is a template for the case study available for download and use at ablm.co/how.

GENERAL INQUIRIES

Do I need to become an ACLM member to become certified?

While you do not need to become an ACLM member to become certified, we recommend you join today in
order to connect with other like-minded colleagues and to also benefit from special ACLM member-pricing on prerequisites and on the certification exam itself.

Does the ABLM offer membership and is this required to become certified?

Similar to other medical specialties, membership is not available through the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine, but rather, through the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

What is the average amount of time you'd recommend devoting to study for the boards?

This depends on your incoming foundation of Lifestyle Medicine knowledge and background. The 30hour online-course prerequisite is required and the Foundations of Lifestyle Medicine Board Review is recommended for preparation for the exam. Depending on incoming knowledge, background, and availability to study, we recommend anywhere from 3-12 months to prepare.

Is there a way to connect with others who are studying?

The ABLM does not connect registrants with each other, however, within ACLM membership, there are various ways to connect with colleagues who are also going through certification through participation and networking within Member Interest Groups. There are also various social media study groups that have formed through the initiative of registrants.

Can you provide day of exam logistics? 

Exam duration: Maximum 4 hours
Exam items/questions: 150 multiple choice questions for Lifestyle Medicine physicians; 120 multiple choice questions for Lifestyle Medicine professionals and Lifestyle Medicine practitioners
Format: proctored exam, using own laptop or tablet (secure online exam dissemination) Once the exam is accessed, it must be completed in one sitting, with the 4h count-down starting when “start” is pressed.

If I attend an ACLM conference, am I also able to sit for the board exam immediately following the conference?

Yes. CMEs from Lifestyle Medicine conferences immediately preceding an exam are exempt from the above 30 day rule.
(Please note that exam results will not be communicated until all prerequisites have been submitted and approved.)

 

MAINTENANCE OF CERTIFICATION

How long does the certification last and what does the maintenance of certification (MOC) pathway include?

While the ABLM adheres to the ABMS rule of full recertification after the end of every 10 year period, the ABLM has launched an alternative Maintenance of Certification pathway, whereby Diplomates have  the choice of a 10 year certification period or on-going maintenance of certification. On-going certification requires a yearly minimal payment, the annual reading of 3 LM related articles and answering a series of questions about these articles as well as the submission of 30 LM related CME every 5 years. This MOC pathway prevents individuals from having to retake and pay for the ABLM exam every 10 years.

Do the MOC provided in the pathway offer AMA PRA Category 1 CMEs?

The MOC pathway includes access to the 3 Lifestyle Medicine related articles and quizzes which are not currently CME accredited at this time.

If I do not choose to sign up for the MOC program, what is the path for maintaining certification?

If an individual decides to forgo the maintenance of certification (MOC) pathway, they must take and pass the ABLM exam again within 10 years to maintain certification.

Visit our diplomate page to see a list of individuals who are certified.

For more information about approved online and in-person CME, pricing, exam schedules, and other exam logistics, visit www.ablm.co! Register today!

Frequently Asked Questions