Heart Disease and Lifestyle: What I Learned at MDVIP’s National Meeting
Every few years, MDVIP invites its affiliated physicians to a national meeting. In my 10 years with the company, I’ve been to all of them. This year we met in Dallas. Why do we get together? To learn from each other and experts about the latest medical trends in prevention and wellness – and to learn how to better serve you.
With a national network of more than 900 physicians practicing in the same model, there’s a lot to learn and a lot to share. In addition to specializing in primary care, many physicians in MDVIP network have expertise or interests in lipidology, nutrition, exercise physiology, alternative therapies and dermatology. The MDVIP primary care model gives us the time to do more in-depth research and study areas of medicine and wellness that we were unable to stay on top of in our previous practices.
It also gives us time to seek out experts and apply their knowledge to the care we give to our patients every day. For example, I’m especially excited about the meeting’s focus on cardiovascular disease. If you’re a member of my practice, you probably know heart disease is the number one killer in the United States – it kills more people than all cancers combined. That’s why we put so much emphasis on detecting heart disease risk in the MDVIP Wellness Program.
At the national meeting, we heard from Bradley Bale, MD, and Amy Doneen, DNP, ARNP, two of the leading experts on the prevention of heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes. Physicians using their cardiovascular disease assessment method look beyond the standard tests that doctors use to determine risk. Why? Because half of all people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol. Drs. Bale and Doneen teach physicians how to use lab and diagnostic tests, which are part of the MDVIP Wellness Program, to spot risk and look for the root causes of cardiovascular disease, and then how to develop a personalized treatment program for each patient designed to reduce, and even reverse, risk.
We also heard from Dean Ornish, MD, who talked about the transformative power of lifestyle medicine. You’ve probably seen Dr. Ornish on TV or read about him in magazine articles. He’s been on the cutting edge of lifestyle and heart disease science for a long time. The Ornish Lifestyle Medicine program helps optimize patients’ nutrition, stress management, exercise and social support to reduce heart disease—and his methods have been shown to reverse heart disease.
As MDVIP-affiliated doctors, we talk about lifestyle a lot because we know that making the right choices can help prevent a lot of illnesses. We also have time to work with you to help you make lifestyle changes.
Our educational opportunities at the MDVIP National Meeting went far beyond heart disease, though. We also heard from experts on the human gut microbiome, brain health and fatty acids, genetic tests, functional medicine, fasting diets, preventing and treating concussions and autoimmune disorders.
I’ve been practicing primary care now for 30+ years. And while I’d like to think I know a great deal, new studies, discoveries and therapies come out every year. Meetings like this help me learn about these advancements and incorporate them into how I care for my patients.
Alan Reisinger, MD, is an MDVIP affiliate based in Baltimore, MD. He is the Chair of MDVIP’s Medical Advisory Board.