Lifestyle Medicine Program Design & Details

The Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Online Program is presented online in two parts and covers 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. For more detailed descriptions, you may also review the curriculum highlights, full curriculum outline and modalities outline.

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 hours from five options )

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

Curriculum Highlights

The Lifestyle Medicine Core Competencies Program covers important content in today’s clinical practice of medicine, including key points on integrating evidence-based lifestyle medicine into patient counseling. In this curriculum, approved for 30 CME credit hours, you’ll learn in more depth on the following salient content areas.

Diabetes Management

  • What key nutrition interventions can support your diabetes management as a first-line therapy with medication?
  • Learn how a plant-based diet outperforms the American Diabetes Association Guidelines diet, with better reductions in A1c, body weight, and plasma lipids along with the proposed mechanisms.

Physical Activity

  • How much risk for heart disease can we reduce with physical activity and what amount should we be recommending?
  • Learn how physical deconditioning is one of the first steps in the process of developing chronic disease and consider how this changes the requirement for activity prescriptions as a core preventive medicine intervention.


  • How are different affective disorders impacted by dim light and what are the consequences on melatonin suppression?
  • Discover the interactions between melatonin, alertness, thermoregulation and heart rate to different wavelengths of light and the sleep health recommendations to bring this system back into balance.

Emotional Well-Being & Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

  • Are there distinct neural modes and brain areas for processing what is happening to us and can we transition from a "narrative-based" self to a "here and now" self?
  • Find out how incorporating mindfulness techniques can prevent burnout, enhance empathy, and lead to strengthened provider-patient relationships that improve treatment outcomes. 

Program Overview

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