The Institute of Lifestyle Medicine (ILM) was founded in 2007 at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Harvard Medical School to reduce lifestyle-related death and disease in society through clinician-directed interventions with patients. A non-profit professional education, research, and advocacy organization, the ILM is uniquely positioned to ignite clinician involvement in lifestyle medicine.
The ILM is at the forefront of a broad-based collaborative effort to transform the practice of clinical care through lifestyle medicine. This critical transformation is motivated by research indicating that modifiable behaviors — especially physical inactivity and unhealthy eating — are major drivers of death, disease, and healthcare costs. While the medical profession is generally aware of this, there has yet to be a systematic and comprehensive effort to incorporate lifestyle medicine into standard practice.
A professional non-profit education, research, and advocacy organization, the ILM is uniquely positioned to ignite clinician involvement. The ILM offers concrete tools and training to healthcare professionals, creates resources for patients, conducts research to demonstrate efficacy of lifestyle interventions, and is creating a model for national adoption of Lifestyle Medicine. The ILM advocates for changes in our healthcare system by empowering clinicians to facilitate behavior change and stimulate a culture of health and wellness for their patients.
The ILM offers the following services:
- Training for health professionals wishing to improve their personal lifestyle choices so they can be more effective role models for their patients.
- Lifestyle Medicine CME courses including Lifestyle Medicine: Tools for Promoting Healthy Change and Active Lives: Transforming Ourselves and Our Patients.
- Online Lifestyle Medicine CME courses through Harvard Medical School.
- Consulting services to corporations, hospitals, medical practices, health & wellness providers, and fitness facilities.
Additionally, to further our agenda of advocacy in promoting health through lifestyle medicine, ILM representatives serve on:
- U.S. National Physical Activity Plan: Healthcare Sector
- American College of Preventive Medicine’s Lifestyle Medicine Committee
- Executive Council for ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine™ global initiative
- ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine™, Chair of Education Committee
- American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Advisory Board
Lifestyle Medicine in Medical School
Today's standard medical school curriculum rarely includes education about exercise and physical activity. Given the current epidemic of disease related to sedentary behavior, it is imperative to train future providers to understand the relationship between physical activity and health. A collaborative of stakeholders led by the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, Joslin Diabetes Center, supported by the Ardmore Institute of Health and The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, are moving forward an initiative to include Lifestyle Medicine a formal part of medical school curricula. Read more here.