Why use the Lifestyle Medicine Board Review Course to prepare for certification? 

The board review course includes a 350-page board review manual, 10 sections, 12 online review lectures by lifestyle medicine experts and 180 review questions.

 By Alex Branch, ACLM Director of Communications

A group of healthcare professionals standing in a line with their arms crossed smiling. There is a mixture of genders and race represented in the image.

There is a book on his shelf that Jon Bonnet, MD, MPH, CAQSM, FAAFP, FACLM, DipABLM, instinctively reaches for when he wants to cite research for academic papers, projects, presentations, or for the Harvard Medical School executive education health and wellness course he facilitates: 

Foundations of Lifestyle Medicine Board Review, 4th edition.”  

“I feel that the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s board review course represents one of the most evidenced-based compilations of lifestyle medicine material anywhere,” Dr. Bonnet said. “And it continues to be an invaluable resource because of its succinct summaries of lifestyle medicine research.” 

That Dr. Bonnet still considers the 350-page board review manual such a useful resource is a testament to the comprehensiveness of the board review course that prepares physicians and health professionals and serves as a prerequisite for the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM) certification exam. In addition to the manual, the board review course includes 10 sections, 12 online review lectures by lifestyle medicine experts and 180 review questions. In all, the course provides 30 hours of CME/CE and is a comprehensive course that builds a foundation for practicing lifestyle medicine.  

The board review course reviews the pillars of evidence-based lifestyle medicine – optimal nutrition, physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, positive social connections and avoidance of risky substances – and how to prescribe them to treat and reverse chronic diseases, while also providing effective prevention. The course is applicable for physicians, advance practice registered nurses, physician associates, registered dietitian nutritionists, pharmacists, physical therapists and other health professionals working in chronic disease treatment and prevention, as well as clinicians in training.  

The course offers a truly comprehensive exploration of every facet of a lifestyle-based approach, firmly grounded in robust, evidence-based principles,” said Ellen Tomazeli, RN, BSN, DipACLM,, who completed the course. I now feel not only well-informed but also confidently supported in my endeavor to implement these principles in my own life and when working with patients.” 

Broad range of experts 

Dr. Bonnet, who is also trained in sports medicine and exercise science, first became involved with the board review course as a subject matter expert for the physical activity section. He later stepped in to succeed as co-lead faculty of the course with Jeni Shull Clayton, MD, MPH, DipABLM, FACLM, when the ACLM founding president and founding co-lead faculty for the course, John Kelly, MD, MPH, LM Intensivist, FACLM, stepped down.

One of the course’s strengths is the broad range of clinical subject matter experts in addition to lifestyle medicine, such as internal medicine, preventive medicine, family medicine, obesity medicine, psychiatry, sleep medicine, toxicology, sports medicine and health and wellness coaching.  

“Being able to recruit multiple experts within each domain allowed us to comprehensively capture the latest research in each section and strategically translate that information to the learner,” Dr. Bonnet said.  

Soaring interest 

Interest in lifestyle medicine is growing. Since ABLM started certification in 2017, almost 6,700 physicians and health professionals have earned certification in lifestyle medicine worldwide. More than 9,000 individuals have enrolled for the LMBR.  

Some individuals who took the course discovered it after registering for 5.5 hours of complimentary CME/CE coursework offered by ACLM to 200,000 health care professionals in collaboration with the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. Almost 40,000 individuals have already registered for the Lifestyle Medicine & Food as Medicine Essentials Course. 

Sarah Arcement, MPAS, PA-C, DipABLM, said that before she completed the board review course she felt overwhelmed at work and registered for the Essentials course at the suggestion of a colleague.  

“Lifestyle medicine reminded me why I wanted to practice medicine in the first place, and inspired me to learn more,” she said. “Using lifestyle medicine techniques on myself and my patients has helped me heal some of the moral injury of contemporary practice. It has improved my quality of life and work tremendously. Without a doubt, I am a happier, more effective provider having gained this knowledge.” 

The goal 

As clinicians gain valuable insights into the evidence supporting lifestyle medicine, they will feel compelled to share that information with patients, Dr. Bonnet said. The course provides clinicians in all specialties valuable foundational knowledge, clinical tools, assessments and other resources to help them integrate lifestyle medicine into their practice.  

“The goal is for lifestyle medicine to be the foundation of health and of healthcare,” he said. “As clinicians learn more about the power of lifestyle medicine, I think it is inevitable that its utilization will increase. This benefits the patient, provider, and community alike.” 

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