I would like to thank Dr Cridland for his comments on my article, “Chronic Disease Rates Cut in Half!” Yes indeed, perhaps I did not go far enough. I do believe that doctors are the most influential health professionals in our patients’ lives. To be effective we must walk the talk and be examples of what we tell our patients. However, I don’t believe we can be effective in promoting chronic disease prevention on our own. First, being realistic, we don’t have the time it takes to do motivational interviews with our patients. Second, there are others who are better trained than us at doing this important task. What we need to do is direct our patients to where they can get this help. The Strategic Health Alliance in Kamloops is an example of this. With a doctor’s referral, patients can attend a 12-week program to help them make lifestyle changes that will assist in preventing or helping with their chronic disease.
On a somewhat encouraging note, I can report that nutrition and exercise are now themes in the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s renewed curriculum. I hope this will begin to instruct the next generation of doctors in the importance of these lifestyle factors.
—Ron Wilson, MD
Athletics and Recreation Committee
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