Lifestyle Medicine Essentials Training
Evaluation of knowledge, self-efficacy, and behaviors following lifestyle medicine training at US-based health systems

Research increasingly supports lifestyle medicine’s efficacy in managing chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity, as well as recognizing the importance of stress management, social connections, and sleep in chronic illness.

Despite medical training encompassing the biological foundations of nutrition, exercise, and sleep, many physicians lack confidence in advising patients on these behaviors. Additionally, essential counseling skills, such as motivational interviewing, are often not included in medical education.

Training programs focusing on lifestyle medicine and behavior change have proven effective in enhancing attitudes, knowledge, and confidence among clinicians, along with promoting behavioral counseling practices. However, there is a need for more research on the format, delivery, and incentivization of these training programs.

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine introduced a 5.5-hour online training program in 2022, Lifestyle Medicine Essentials, as part of our commitment in support of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. This program serves to familiarize clinicians with lifestyle medicine and encourage its practice, meeting continuing education requirements for various healthcare professionals.

Clinicians participating in the Lifestyle Medicine Essentials online course are invited to participate in a series of research surveys (before, immediately after, and 12 months following the education program). The surveys assess clinicians’ knowledge, attitudes, and confidence about specific lifestyle medicine practices as well as their current practice behaviors.

Findings from these surveys will be disseminated through the academic literature and advise future education opportunities.