Most M.D.s have no clue when it comes to promoting health.

But that disturbing fact is beginning to change.

The world's FIRST ever such conference

The world’s FIRST ever such conference

Later this year, there will be a brand new kind of conference for physicians and other healthcare professionals.

From October 24-26 in Naples, FL, medical doctors will have the opportunity to earn continuing medical education credits (CMEs) while learning exactly how to promote health—from prominent M.D.s who have been promoting health and reversing disease for decades. From the conference website:

Prevent, Suspend and Reverse Disease

This is your opportunity to earn 13 AMA PRA Category 1CME credits and to learn from many of the leading researchers and experts in preventive, lifestyle and nutritional medicine: Esselstyn, Barnard, Greger, Stoll, Klaper, Campbell and Li.

Learn how to transform not only your practice but the lives of your patients. With proven protocols in dietary intervention and lifestyle modification, the vast majority of chronic disease is preventable and often reversible. Take an important step, and register today for the (first ever) North American Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference.

Caldwell Esselstyn, MD. Director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal at the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic.

Lecturing at the conference. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn shown here as he appeared in “The Last Heart Attack” on CNN. He’s been reversing heart disease in almost ALL of his patients for over thirty years.

Some background. During the past 20 or 30 years, one courageous nutritional scientist (T. Colin Campbell, PhD) and five pioneering medical doctors have been telling the world all about a well-kept secret.

The secret is that up to 80% of our healthcare dollars in the United States are driven by our popular food choices—now known as the Standard American Diet, the S.A.D. To make matters worse, that same harmful diet that is robbing us of our health is also taking a tremendous toll on a host of sustainability issues with regards to our environment.

Amazingly, most of us have it within our power to take charge of our own health—and greatly increase our odds of avoiding all forms of chronic disease for life. We just need to learn what we should be eating. By eating a near optimal diet, we give our bodies what they need to promote health. So why aren’t our medical doctors telling us these simple truths?

The short answer is that their educational curriculum didn’t include those truths. Sadly, our medical system has evolved to one that virtually ignores the single most powerful driver of  of vibrant health—the way we eat. Instead of health promotion, they focus almost totally on disease management. Oh we hear a great deal of lip service about “preventive” measures for cancer and heart disease, but don’t kid yourself; those measures are all about routine screening and testing—not true prevention.

Dr. Scott Stoll

Dr. Scott Stoll

The three organizers of this event are all friends of mine.

  • Dr. Scott Stoll. A former team member, he now serves as a physician for the United States Bobsled Team. He is also the team physician and department chairman of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Coordinated Health at Lehigh University.
  • Tom Dunnam. President of Total Health Immersions, Inc., a firm that specializes in conducting 7-day immersions for high risk associates of such progressive organizations as Whole Foods Market.
  • Susan Benigas. Founder and Executive Director of The Plantrician Project, a non-profit whose mission is to facilitate the process of helping physicians and other healthcare professionals learn to harness the health promoting power of a whole foods, plant-based diet.
I took this picture of Susan Benigas and her husband when they were in CT for our book launch party.

I took this picture of Susan Benigas and her husband when they were in CT for our book launch party.

Medical doctors are the gate-keepers. You will be hearing a lot more about The Plantrician Project in the years ahead. Although the powerful truths that will be presented at the Naples conference have been known for four or five decades, they’re just now beginning to make it to the mainstream medical profession—and Susan’s new company will be blazing the trail. As she says:

Physicians and healthcare professionals hold the key—they are often the gatekeepers to their patients’ and clients’ nutritional choices. Individuals may read books and watch films that espouse the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle; although, until physicians and other wellness practitioners across the nation understand and embrace the benefits and, in turn, promote patient adoption, this dietary shift on a broad scale will be elusive. 

The Bottom Line. Clearly, the best way to deal with chronic disease is to prevent it in the first place. But true prevention doesn’t pay very well. So, what’s a doctor to do? Simply follow the Hippocratic Oath and do everything he/she can to help their patients be as healthy as they can be.

My friend Mike died last month at age 71 of heart disease. He would probably be alive today if his medical doctors had simply told him how he could have easily reversed that chronic disease.

My friend Mike died last month at age 71 of heart disease. He would probably be alive today if his medical doctors had simply told him how he could have easily reversed that chronic disease. With him is my oldest grandson, Collin.

My feeling is that most truly-responsible physicians will make it their business to learn all about promoting health with the simple prescription of a whole foods, plant-based diet. They will want to help their patients learn the powerful truths that have been hidden for so many years.

Not to worry, his/her traditional & lucrative practice of testing, prescribing and conducting procedures will not go away anytime soon. That’s because the majority of the patients out there won’t listen to this new message the first few times that they hear it.

But things are changing. And fifty years from now, our “disease-management” focused healthcare system will be a mere shadow of its former self. Now is the time for our physicians to get serious about doing their best to promote health. It’s just the right thing to do.

How can you help? Ask your medical doctor to read this blog and then sign up for the Naples conference in October. If your doctor has no interest, start looking for a new doctor.

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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2 Responses to Most M.D.s have no clue when it comes to promoting health.

  1. yr4me says:

    Jim, I am really lucky here in Austin, TX. My primary care physician began teaching plant-based nutrition classes for her patients and the public a year ago. She also presented at the annual convention for primary care/family practice physicians this year. My life has changed dramatically since then.

  2. Sal Liggieri says:


    If your doctor won’t listen, you say “Look for another doctor.” What if the second doctor won’t listen, then what?

    Here in NYC vegan doctors must be a well kept secret. The Big Apple and I can’t find one doctor who believes that food is the answer.

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