Program aims to teach med students ‘health’ care instead of ‘sick’ care

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A program at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville aims to teach health care rather than sick care. Now, the Lifestyle Medicine program is reaching people around the world. The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville is the first medical school in the country to fully incorporate Lifestyle Medicine training into all four years of its undergraduate medical school curriculum. That training includes education in healthy eating, physical activity, managing stress, having healthy relationships, getting quality sleep and avoiding harmful substance use. Dr. Jennifer Trilk said this training is so important because 90 percent of the United States’ health care costs are related to lifestyle-related diseases. “If we don’t train our future doctors on how to work with patients to prevent those diseases, not only the health care costs of our nation but the morbidity and mortality related to these chronic diseases will continue to skyrocket,” Trilk said. “It is definitely an individual’s responsibility to maintain their own health and prevent their own disease. However, not everybody is educated in this. So it’s extremely important for a doctor-patient relationship to be a team so that the doctor can help the patient understand and be educated about how these diseases come about and how to reverse those diseases or be able to prevent those diseases,” Trilk said. In January, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville made the Lifestyle Medicine program available so that other medical schools and students can access it for free. Trilk said people around the world are now using this program.

A program at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville aims to teach health care rather than sick care. Now, the Lifestyle Medicine program is reaching people around the world.

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville is the first medical school in the country to fully incorporate Lifestyle Medicine training into all four years of its undergraduate medical school curriculum. That training includes education in healthy eating, physical activity, managing stress, having healthy relationships, getting quality sleep and avoiding harmful substance use.

Dr. Jennifer Trilk said this training is so important because 90 percent of the United States’ health care costs are related to lifestyle-related diseases.

“If we don’t train our future doctors on how to work with patients to prevent those diseases, not only the health care costs of our nation but the morbidity and mortality related to these chronic diseases will continue to skyrocket,” Trilk said.

“It is definitely an individual’s responsibility to maintain their own health and prevent their own disease. However, not everybody is educated in this. So it’s extremely important for a doctor-patient relationship to be a team so that the doctor can help the patient understand and be educated about how these diseases come about and how to reverse those diseases or be able to prevent those diseases,” Trilk said.

In January, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville made the Lifestyle Medicine program available so that other medical schools and students can access it for free. Trilk said people around the world are now using this program.

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