11 Jan Mountain View Medical Group Physician Earns Lifestyle Medicine Certification
Dr. Emily Sheahan joined a group of 204 physicians and 43 PhD/Masters-level health clinicians who became the first medical professionals in the world to be certified as Diplomates of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) and the International Board of Lifestyle Medicine last October in Tucson, Arizona.
“I’ve always been interested in getting my patients to improve their health by increasing physical activity, making better food choices, and making positive changes in their social environment,” said Dr. Sheahan, who helped lead the CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) over the last few years with local general surgeon Dr. Kenneth Rose. “With CHIP, I saw how much you can reverse chronic disease by changing your daily lifestyle habits, and this motivated me to learn more through this certification program.”
According to ACLM director Stephen Herzog, the way physicians work with patients needs to change. “Gone are the days of diagnosing the ill, prescribing the pill, and sending the bill,” said Herzog. “That approach worked so well in combating communicable disease, but is hopelessly inadequate in the fight against chronic disease.”
Chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension are increasingly believed to be the result of lifestyle factors. “Nourishment, movement, resilience and social connectedness will become the focal point of physicians in addressing the underlying causes of chronic disease, with increasing numbers of medical schools training their students in the principles of lifestyle medicine,” said Herzog.
To gain certification from the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Sheahan passed an extensive exam after completing the 30-hour class and attending the conference. Lifestyle medicine, as defined by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, is focused on evidence-based therapeutic approaches, with a focus on a whole food, plant-based diet, physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, tobacco cessation, and other healthy habits to prevent, treat, and often reverse chronic disease.
Dr. Sheahan has already been a local pioneer in lifestyle medicine, starting the “Diabetes Undone” program to help those suffering from diabetes meet regularly to provide support for lifestyle changes. “Several patients have lost weight and reduced or even eliminated their diabetes medications,” said Dr. Sheahan. “They are feeling so much better, and it just motivates me to encourage more lifestyle medicine approaches.”
Dr. Sheahan practices out of Mountain View Medical Group, a clinic owned by and adjacent to Wallowa Memorial Hospital in Enterprise. Congratulations, Dr. Sheahan!