A certificate course at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar (WCM-Q) is creating a cohort of trained lifestyle medicine healthcare professionals to help tackle non communicable diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, cancer and Type 2 diabetes.

The Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine course, developed and implemented by the Institute for Population Health (IPH) at WCM-Q, provides 60 hours of rigorous training, equipping healthcare practitioners with the knowledge and skills to aid in the prevention, evaluation and management of lifestyle-related chronic health conditions, which are currently the leading causes of premature mortality around the world.

Dr Ravinder Mamtani, Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research and Dr Sohaila Cheema, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Policy and Research, serve as course directors.

The inaugural iteration of the course has just concluded, with over 40 healthcare practitioners completing the five-day onsite element of the programme, consisting of seminars and interactive discussions led by leading lifestyle medicine physicians from Qatar, the US, and Australia.

WCMQ Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine

The subjects covered topics on diet and nutrition, exercise, smoking cessation, emotional and mental well being, building resilience to stress and sleep science. To receive the WCM-Q Certificate in Lifestyle Medicine, participants must also complete a 30-hour online training.

According to Dr Mamtani lifestyle-related diseases are now the biggest killers globally and the traditional healthcare approach of treating these diseases is not very effective.

That is why we pursuing a new approach based on lifestyle medicine, which is designed to help healthcare professionals guide and support patients to adopt healthy lifestyle habits in the long-term to prevent, treat and in many cases, even reverse chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

Summarizing the lifestyle medicine approach, Dr Cheema said that building strong, highly individualised long-term therapeutic relationships with patients is key to the success of lifestyle medicine approaches.

Getting to know the attributes and challenges for each patient will allow practitioners to provide the most effective package of care and support possible. Promoting healthy habits, according to Dr Cheema, must be the foundation for health.