Lifestyle Medicine courses kick off programs on DoaneX

The first DoaneX program to launch on is a Professional Certificate program in Lifestyle Medicine, involving therapeutic use of lifestyle and diet in the prevention and treatment of lifestyle-related chronic disease.

Dr. Amanda McKinney, executive director of Doane’s Institute for Human and Planetary Health, created the program as a way to help healthcare professionals obtain training that is approved by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

“This is about prevention and treatment of avoidable chronic diseases,” said McKinney. “Of the $3.3 trillion spent each year on health care in the United States, 80 percent is spent on treatment of diseases of lifestyle such as heart disease and diabetes.”

Of 70 percent of all deaths in the U.S., half are attributable to heart disease and the other half from cancers. Heart disease is preventable and treatable, and half of cancers are attributable to lifestyle, McKinney explained.

McKinney is a Fellow and a member of the board of directors of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. The growing realization that many physicians have no training in this relatively new discipline led to the creation of the online courses and the exam leading to certification.

McKinney created the content for the first two courses –a total of 20 hours of coursework--in the online series; Kelsey Pruss, Doane’s program manager for Pre-Health Professions, created the third course on how to coach patients to make good lifestyle decisions. Health care professionals can earn continuing medical education credits by taking the course.

Doane’s program is one of only four such programs available online for this area of growing interest and the only one on By taking the 30 hours of online training, physicians and other health care professionals are eligible to take an exam for certification offered by the board of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Board certification exams are conducted in a growing number of nations outside of the United States, including Australia and the Philippines.

Within the U.S., the practice of Lifestyle Medicine is a regional phenomenon, and McKinney hopes to change that.

“So far, Lifestyle Medicine is mostly a coastal phenomenon that started with Harvard and other entities on the east coast and Stanford and west coast universities,” said McKinney. “I’m hoping that if Midwest health providers see we are doing this in the middle of the country it will break down those barriers and more providers will adopt this approach across the nation.”

Doane’s new Professional Certificate program in Lifestyle Medicine is the first program to launch on DoaneX. Enrollment is open today and information is available online.

The series is a good fit in the edX array of Professional Certificate programs. Such course series are designed to build and enhance critical professional skills needed to succeed in today’s most in-demand fields. Lifestyle Medicine through DoaneX is a good example.

The Lifestyle Medicine program falls under Doane’s Institute for Human and Planetary Health. McKinney anticipates more courses on human health and lifestyle medicine being offered on DoaneX in the future.