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Devin D. Thorpe
Devin Thorpe

Dr. Andrew Weil Works To Focus Healthcare System On Health

This post was originally produced for Forbes.

Dr. Andrew Weil is the Harvard-trained physician who led the holistic health revolution of the last fifty years. Whatever you think of alternative medicine, he has been successful at building a following and a community.

Recently, Dr. Weil created The Weil Foundation to fund educational programs at medical schools around the country, teaching integrative medicine.

Dr. Weil explains the healthcare problems we face today, “We are all suffering from a broken health care system and medicine that is too dependent on expensive technology and pharmaceutical drugs that often cause as much harm as benefit.”

As a solution to this broken healthcare system, Dr. Weil is funding education of alternatives. “I am training physicians and allied health professionals in Integrative Medicine, which emphasizes prevention, self-care, reliance on the body’s innate healing capacity, and low-tech, low-cost interventions along with judicious use of conventional medicine,” he says.

Dr. Weil seeks to create a new model for healthcare with an emphasis on health. “It will result in a transformation of medical education and a new generation of health professionals knowledgeable about nutrition, lifestyle influences on health, mind/body interactions, natural remedies, other systems of medicine (like Chinese medicine). These doctors of the future will create a functional system of health care for our population,” Dr. Weil concludes.

On Thursday, January 14, 2016 at noon Eastern, Dr. Weil will join me for a live discussion about his efforts to improve the healthcare system. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

More about The Weil Foundation:

Twitter: @weilfoundation

Founded on the belief that patients feel lost in the high-tech, less personalized healthcare landscape, Weil’s mission is to change the face of traditional medicine by creating, educating, and actively supporting the next generation of medical professionals who embody the philosophy and practice of personalized prevention and integrative medicine. Through extensive training, research and education, The Weil Foundation seeks to:

  • Improve the way physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and allied health professionals treat clients through extensive training procedures
  • Educate the public about health, healing, and lifestyle
  • Reform public policies governing health care and the practice of medicine
  • Expand and deepen research in integrative medicine

Since its inception in 2005, the foundation recently announced that it has awarded more than $5 million in grants to medical centers and other non-profits nationwide to make a difference in patient-centered care. Dr. Weil donates all of his after-tax profits from royalties from sales of Weil Lifestyle licensed products to make grants to advance the healthcare space through the practice and education of Integrative Medicine, primarily to medical schools and other non-profit organizations. The Weil Foundation has given grants to medical schools and residency programs so that new graduates will have additional training in nutrition and prevention and non-traditional therapies that are not included in the traditional medical school programs.

To date, the organization has awarded 139 grants to more than 2000 physicians in 23 states with a program that features a broad range of comprehensive fellowship training programs, online educational courses on specific topics, an integrative clinic, and an NIH-supported research group. As a founding member of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, which was founded by eight US medical schools including the University of Arizona in 1999, he’s now expanded to 63 medical schools in the US and Canada. Dr. Weil can discuss his plans for expanding and strengthening the integrative medicine field to help transform health care in North America and the world.

Dr. Weil’s bio:

Twitter: @drweil

Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit. Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, Dr. Weil is Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, where he also holds the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology and is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health. The Center is the leading effort in the world to develop a comprehensive curriculum in integrative medicine. Graduates serve as directors of integrative medicine programs throughout the United States, and through its Fellowship, the Center is now training doctors and nurse practitioners around the world.

Dr. Weil is an internationally-recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle, his philosophy of healthy aging, and his critique of the future of medicine and health care.

Dr. Weil is the editorial director of the popular website, DrWeil.com, and appears in video programs featured on PBS. He can be found on Facebook FB -4.21% and Twitter. Dr. Weil is the founder and Chairman of The Weil Foundation, and the Chairman of Weil Lifestyle. He is also a founder and co-owner of the growing group of True Food Kitchen restaurants. Dr. Weil writes a monthly column for Prevention magazine. A frequent lecturer and guest on talk shows, Dr. Weil is an internationally recognized expert on medicinal plants, alternative medicine, and the reform of medical education. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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