Marc Braman, MD
WHO AM I?
Human being. Patient advocate. Inventor. Social entrepreneur.
I realize this picture of my mother and I is an odd picture for a professional photo. But I think it best captures what I am about. She had terminal cancer. I love(d) her dearly.
We want to pull out all the stops to make health care what it could and should be. Ultimately it is about quality of life as long as possible
We have never actually designed health care as a system in the United States. And, unfortunately, patients are not what drives the "healthcare" we have.
We have a lot to do to make health care that is what it could and should be. And it will take all of us working together. I hope you will join me!
Health care for patients
A huge missing piece in healthcare was that, despite mountains of scientific evidence, treatment was still based on pills and procedures for treating symptoms and consequences. To build a system that made any sense whatsoever, we needed “treat the cause” care on the playing field, and it needed to be foundational to everything else. The best way to do that was to develop a professional organization that would define and represent the field and providers in this discipline. So, like there is the American Academy of Family Practice or the American College of Surgeons, we built the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. My friend and colleague, John Kelly, MD, MPH, was the Founder and first President. I became Secretary, then second President, then first Executive Director, spending the better part of 7 years doing the blood, sweat, and tears of building something that everyone knew was what was needed and no one wanted to support with time or resources.
We built infrastructure, established annual national conferences, built a board of Advisors of the best scientists and experts on the planet in Lifestyle Medicine, including former US Surgeon Generals, Chairs of Departments at Harvard, etc. We developed regular publications, member support, collaborations with other professional societies such as the American College of Preventive Medicine, collaborations with Sage Publications and the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. We began work to establish standards for the field, culminating in the publication in the Journal of the American Medical Association of the product of a national Blue Ribbon Panel with recommended competencies for all providers in prescribing Lifestyle Medicine. We established formal Fellow designations and systems for those who had substantially contributed to the field professionally, etc, etc, etc. We got Lifestyle Medicine on the map as a credible, professional field, with every reason to be the foundation of healthcare everywhere.
Thanks to the continued efforts of others the American College of Lifestyle Medicine continues to grow and shine a bright light on the heart and foundation of a better kind of healthcare.
We set up the Foundation early on so that the College could focus on the professionals, and the Foundation could focus on the public, promotion, the science, awareness, etc. I had the privilege of serving as President of the Lifestyle Medicine Foundation.
One of our primary projects was LifestyleFacts.org. We wanted people anywhere, any time, to be able to be taught by the best experts on the planet, based on the best science, in the most user friendly format possible, how to use lifestyle as medicine for them. And we wanted it to be free. We also wanted to build systems to support integration for providers to make it easy for them to provide better care, more efficiently, by using LifestyleFacts.org as part of their care systems.
The organization was transferred to leaders within ACLM.
Understanding the concepts and science of clinical Lifestyle Medicine is great. But unless it can be operationalized in sustainable ways it is just mental entertainment.
I have talked with hundreds and hundreds of doctors and other healthcare professionals passionate about Lifestyle Medicine but who struggle with making Lifestyle Medicine work financially in today’s healthcare climate that is not built for patients or real care. To support providers and practices and systems in making Lifestyle Medicine work in the real world, we formed Lifestyle Medicine Pro, LLC in 2016. Not just a typical consultancy, we are building the science of community into all that we do, functioning more as a network of colleagues with shared resources and helping each other — “Bringing Lifestyle Medicine To Life - Together”.
There are many things I love doing, but I am especially passionate about bringing life, health, and joy into others lives. My family teases me that I need 10 lifetimes to do all the things I want to do. I am by nature an inventor and entrepreneur. These qualities are tasked with accomplishing as much permanent good as possible in the world and for others with the life and opportunities I am privileged to have.