On Saturday, 10th August 2019 our second cohort of Diploma students will sit an externally invigilated MCQ exam in Edinburgh to gain an internationally-recognised Certification in Lifestyle Medicine.
For more than 100 health practitioners, the exam is the culmination of months of self-directed learning, online study and in-person learning.
Our students come from a range of backgrounds including GPs, hospital doctors, public health professionals and other health care practitioners.
They all share one thing in common — a desire to understand more about lifestyle medicine and how it can help prevent, manage and reverse chronic and lifestyle-related disease.
Ultimately, it’s about improving the lives of their patients - through a deeper understanding of Lifestyle Medicine principles and how to apply them.
Students who have already gained Certification are quick to talk up the benefits.
But one element seems to consistently stand out - the solid evidence base which certification gives Lifestyle Medicine practitioners in their working lives.
That’s crucial if we are to continue to make Lifestyle Medicine credible, relevant and mainstream. It’s about benchmarking what lifestyle medicine is all about and demonstrating to the world that it works.
Obtaining certification enables students to work towards a BSLM diploma in Lifestyle Medicine.
There are four elements to this:
- Online, self-directed learning
- Face to face learning/CPD, for example attending BSLM events such as the annual conference
- Completion of a real-life case study
- An invigilated multiple-choice exam.
In the first year of the diploma we had 38 candidates completing the first three elements before sitting the exam in August 2018. In Edinburgh this year that figure was 110!
Despite practising Lifestyle Medicine as a GP for three decades it was only after having completed the diploma myself in 2018 that I could call myself a Certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician.
But that doesn’t just matter to those who, like me, are committed to delivering healthcare in adherence to Lifestyle Medicine principles. It also matters to patients - who can have confidence that their physician/practitioner has been tested and assessed and has passed an internationally recognised qualification in Lifestyle Medicine. They can have confidence that if they work with their GP/practitioner on the lifestyle factors which are impacting on their health they can achieve very positive results.
So well done to everyone who has made the personal and professional commitment to attaining certification this year. I hope we can achieve another very high pass rate in 2019 as we did last year. Next year students will sit the exam in London, which is incidentally where our 2020 conference will be held in June.
If you would like to know more about strengthening your Lifestyle Medicine practice by working towards the Certification in Lifestyle Medicine and becoming a BSLM diplomate over the coming 12 months visit: