One of the most common questions in medicine: “Doctor, can you help me lose weight and keep it off?”
It is motivating to see the amount of drug-free muscle my medical school training partners Ammar and Sam have grown while earning their MD’s (bottom 2013, top April, 2016). I could not be more proud of these two future Canadian surgeons. Not only did they match to competitive specialties (ophthalmology and urology), they refuse to accept their first excuse. Throughout the demands of medical training we have pushed one another in the gym and in the classroom. This included showing up to lift after 26hr sleepless shifts while lighting up our phones with “EAT” text messages between 2am hospital consults.
Without question a three year condensed medical school curriculum is demanding, however, there is always time for fitness…if you make that time.
Whether you are a surgeon or family doctor, the bottom line is many of your patients will suffer from obesity. With obesity and weight-related disease being the number one cause of premature and preventable death in Canada, it is imperative that more doctors provide actionable exercise and nutrition prescriptions. Furthermore, evidence suggests doctors who exercise are more likely to coach patients to be physically active.
This is not only about science. This is about fundamental belief systems and creating a medical culture where lifestyle prescriptions are essential in clinical practice.
Exercise is medicine.
Aric Sudicky co-founded London, Ontario’s first medically integrated personal training and nutrition program. He is a former Canadian Fitness Professional of the Year award winner, an obesity researcher, and is currently finishing his Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Calgary. You can follow Aric via his facebook or twitter pages.