Lifestyle Medicine Core Competency Online Program

The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) and American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) are proud to introduce a new Lifestyle Medicine Core Competency Online Program for medical professionals designed to address knowledge gaps in medical education as identified in the Journal of the American Medical Association.1

The curriculum is currently being digitized and will be available through ACPM’s e-learning portal in early 2016. To receive updates about the program, we encourage you to subscribe to our lifestyle medicine newsletter.


Program Basics

The Lifestyle Medicine Core Competency Online Program is a comprehensive, evidence-based curriculum designed for physicians and applicable for nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dietitians, health coaches, and other allied health professionals. Maintenance of Certification (MOC) is available for select medical specialties.

The program covers the recommended foundational approach to preventing and treating the majority of chronic diseases affecting Americans. At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the fifteen core competencies of lifestyle medicine as identified in "Physician Competencies for Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine" (JAMA. 2010;304(2):202-203)
  • Incorporate competencies into clinical practice
  • Understand lifestyle assessments and evidence-based lifestyle prescriptions
  • Leverage community resources to support lifestyle change
  • Registration Fees
  • Member
  • Non-Member
  • Physicians
    (MD, OD, DC, PhD)
  • $799
  • $999
  • Allied health professionals
    (RN, NP, PA, RD, OT)
  • $599
  • $749
  • Residents and students
  • $560
  • $699

Individual course prices and group discounts available upon request.


This program has been designated for 30 CME credits. ACPM is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education. This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the essential areas and policies of the ACCME.

MOC Credit

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), through the ABMS–AAMC joint Maintenance of Certification (MOC) initiative, has approved the Lifestyle Medicine Core Competency Program as a Part II CME Activity by the ABMS Member Boards of the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Additional medical specialty boards are currently reviewing the program to determine eligibility for MOC credit.


Program Updates

The online program will be available early 2016, and registrations will be accepted upon release. 

To receive updates about the program and registration, we encourage you to subscribe to the Lifestyle Medicine newsletter, published monthly by ACPM.



Program Design

The program is presented in two parts covering basic and advanced material. Part 1 covers the fifteen core competencies of lifestyle medicine endorsed by ACPM and published in JAMA. Part 2 provides in-depth study of the competencies, guidance on how to employ them in a lifestyle medicine–oriented practice, and approaches to facilitating behavior change interventions. Program modules address:

  • Core competencies of lifestyle medicine
  • Coaching behavior change
  • Alcohol use risk reduction
  • Nutrition
  • Sleep Health
  • Emotional wellness/Stress reduction
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Electives (Choose three of remaining seven topics)

Basic Training Curriculum 


  • Promote healthy behaviors as foundational to medical care, disease prevention, and health promotion
  • Seek to practice healthy behaviors and create school, work, and home environments that support healthy behaviors
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the evidence that specific lifestyle changes can have a positive effect on patients’ health outcomes
  • Describe ways that physician engagement with patients and families can have a positive effect on patients’ health behaviors

Assessment Skills

  • Assess the social, psychological, and biological predispositions of patients’ behaviors and the resulting health outcomes
  • Assess patient and family readiness, willingness, and ability to make health behavior changes
  • Perform a history and physical examination specific to lifestyle-related health status, including lifestyle "vital signs” such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity, body mass index, stress level, sleep, and emotional well-being
  • Based on this assessment, obtain and interpret appropriate tests to screen, diagnose, and monitor lifestyle-related diseases

Management Skills

  • Use nationally recognized practice guidelines (such as those for hypertension and smoking cessation) to assist patients in self-managing their health behaviors and lifestyles
  • Establish effective relationships with patients and their families to effect and sustain behavioral change using evidence- based counseling methods and tools and follow-up
  • Collaborate with patients and their families to develop evidence-based, achievable, specific, written action plans such as lifestyle prescriptions
  • Help patients manage and sustain healthy lifestyle practices, and refer patients to other health care professionals as needed for lifestyle-related conditions

Use of Office and Community Support

  • Have the ability to practice as an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals and support a team approach
  • Develop and apply office systems and practices to support lifestyle medical care including decision support technology
  • Measure processes and outcomes to improve quality of lifestyle interventions in individuals and groups of patients
  • Use appropriate community referral resources that support the implementation of healthy lifestyles

Behavior Change Introduction Topics

  • Introduction on facilitating behavior change interventions in these and other lifestyle medicine areas which will be covered in-depth in the second part of the program

Advanced Training Curriculum

The second part of the program provides a more in-depth study of the competencies, how to employ a lifestyle medicine-oriented practice, and focuses on facilitating behavior change interventions in the following lifestyle medicine domains:

  • Diet and nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Stress
  • Smoking cessation
  • Alcohol use


Pilot Webinars

Beginning in 2014, ACPM began piloting educational modules from the Lifestyle Medicine Core Competency Program through a series of webinars. These archived webinars are available for viewing and feature the following topics:

  • Nutrition
  • Prescribing Exercise: Getting You & Your Patients Moving
  • Using Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to Promote Health
  • Understanding Sleep's Role in Health Promotion & Chronic Disease


Curriculum Development

In 2009, the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) and American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) collaborated with funding from the Ardmore Institute and Procter and Gamble to convene a blue ribbon panel of representatives from several major physician/health professional organizations: the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the American Osteopathic Association. The resulting consensus statement outlining 15 competencies for physicians offering lifestyle medicine was published in JAMA (July 14, 2010).

Since the publication, members of the Lifestyle Medicine Task Force of ACPM and the ACLM leadership have been working to promote awareness of the lifestyle medicine competencies among physicians and other clinicians, including publications in Medscapeand Military Medicine and in presentations to a variety of clinical audiences. Interest was consistently expressed in a curriculum to train physicians in this knowledge and skills. In February 2013, a follow-up group called the Lifestyle Medicine Competencies Steering Committee was convened, again with funds from the Ardmore Institute, to discuss next steps.

The group recommended the development of a broad plan for developing lifestyle medicine training and implementing the lifestyle medicine competencies within the current health care environment through collaborative strategies, partnerships and a recognition process. The aim of the plan is to assure the demand for and integration of lifestyle medicine competence by the health care system and consumers / patients. The plan and identification of funding sources was completed by a newly constituted Lifestyle Medicine Competencies Working Group (LMCWG).

Cummins, Inc. is one of the first funders to spearhead curriculum development, with a goal of promoting lifestyle medicine competence among physicians working in the Cummins clinics—direct care providers, as well as physicians in an external provider network. Cummins has provided generous funding to ACPM to work in coordination with ACLM in developing a lifestyle medicine curriculum.



1. Physician Competencies for Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine. Liana Lianov, MD, MPH; Mark Johnson, MD, MPH. JAMA. 2010;304(2):202-203. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.903.

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