Physician Heal Thyself, Then Others

That’s the title of the first chapter in our new book.

AZ jpg Book AdThat first chapter was written by my co-author, Dr. Kerry Graff, a family physician who discovered after two decades of practicing medicine that “almost everything she had done as a physician for the past twenty years was just plain wrong.” That discovery also resulted in enabling her to take charge of her own health, a process that she chronicles in Chapter 1.

Since she discovered the joy and satisfaction of promoting health instead of just “managing disease” in 2013, she has totally re-engineered her practice to do just that. And now she is putting all of her energy into making good on the “incredible failures of her profession.”

And those efforts are paying off. In just over a year, she has positively touched the lives of hundreds of her patients, and has witnessed almost miraculous results as they followed her enthusiastic endorsement of a whole food, plant-based way of eating. She shares several of those stories in our brand new book, “4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health.” now available for sale worldwide in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.

Now that Dr. Graff has the book, she will use it to save valuable time as she shares the secret of vibrant health with ALL of her 800 patients and their families. Guess that’s why she just ordered 300 copies of her own book. 

Dr. Robert Ostfeld is one of those doctors who is

Dr. Robert Ostfeld is one of those doctors who is “enthusiastically” prescribing WFPB. See link to his article below.

Dr. Graff’s practice is one example of what can happen when a whole food, plant-based way of eating is “enthusiastically endorsed” by just one physician. Read about a few more later in this article, like Dr. Ostfeld, pictured here.

If enough of them catch the vision in the next few years, the incredible world-changing benefits will extend far beyond the realm of human health. You see, as we choose the best food for our health, we’re also taking the single most powerful step possible–for promoting the health of our ecosystem that sustains us.

As such, we’re talking about the most important topic in the history of humanity–our food choices in the 21st century. Dr. T. Colin Campbell summed up the crucial significance of  those food choices in WHOLE, when he stated, “No less than our future as a species hangs in the balance.” This leads me to the following two conclusions:

  1. We simply must change our eating habits. For a plethora of health and environmental reasons that we cover in our new book, we simply have no other choice.
  2. We desperately need the world’s MDs onboard for that to happen. The founder of The Plantrician Project and the Executive Director of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine explains it this way:

“We can only make so much progress on our own. We simply must find a way to get mainstream medicine onboard when it comes to the incredible, health-promoting power of plant-based nutrition. For, until they embrace the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet; and, in turn, promote patient adoption, this essential dietary shift on a broad scale will be elusive.” —Susan Benigas (She also wrote the last five pages of our book.)

I took this picture of Susan when she and husband Jon attended our book launch in 2011.

I took this picture of Susan Benigas when she and husband Jon attended our book launch in my seaside village  in 2011.

What can you do to help get those mainstream docs onboard? A lot more than you might think. Right now, fewer than one in ten physicians in the developed world have embraced the whole food, plant-based diet themselves–and have started prescribing it to their patients–enthusiastically!!

The quickest way that you might be able to get your doctor’s  attention is by sharing this powerful, soul-searching letter from Dr. Graff that appears in the final chapter of our book.

Just ask two or three doctors  to read this powerful two-page document and then ask them to tell you their thoughts on this topic. My favorite excerpt from that letter contains the word unconscionable about halfway through:

Imagine if we had a medication available that could prevent, reverse or cure the vast majority of chronic diseases and we didn’t bother to even discuss it with our patients. Just imagine the outcry! Obviously, we would tell all of them about that new wonder drug because not doing so would be unconscionable. Dispensing sound, dietary advice for preventing and reversing disease is no different. Ultimately, the primary access vehicle for hearing the truth about the profound effect of diet on health should be the physician–whether or not that physician is willing to adopt a superior diet-style him or herself.

Here is a link to the entire two-page letter that explains why doctors simply MUST tell their patients these life-saving truths–EVEN if they are unwilling to change their own family’s unhealthy eating habits. To choose NOT to share these truths with their patients is simply unconscionable. Letter from Dr. Graff 

Meet Dr. Michelle McMacken of New York City

Meet Dr. Michelle McMacken of New York City graciously provided an endorsement for the cover of our book.

The future of medicine has begun. The seeds were planted by courageous pioneering doctors (all covered in our book) for the past forty years–McDougall, Ornish, Esselstyn, Furhman, and Barnard–to name just a few.

But now some of the best and brightest, superbly educated, young mainstream physicians are beginning to do as Susan Benigas suggested–embracing AND promoting a WFPB diet for ALL of their patients.

In addition to my co-author, Dr. Kerry Graff, meet four more of those mainstream doctors who were all recently featured on the Forks Over Knives website:

  • Michelle McMacken, MD. Yale undergrad, Columbia School of Medicine–she is now an Assistant Professor of Medicine at NYU and is the Director of the Bellevue Hospital Weight Management Clinic in NYC. Read her profile on the Forks Over Knives website.
  • Robert Ostfeld, MD. Pictured earlier in the article, he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from U. Penn,  earned his MD from Yale and a masters in epidemiology from Harvard. Read his inspiring article on the Forks Over Knives website.
  • James Loomis, MD. A prominent internal medicine physician in St. Louis, read his inspiring story on the Forks Over Knives website.
  • Steven Lawenda, MD. One of Kaiser Permanente’s 17,000 physicians, Dr. Lawenda is a family medicine in California. Read his inspiring story on the Forks Over Knives website.

What else can YOU do? We at 4Leaf Global are focused on doing our part to help you get more of the world’s doctors onboard with the life-saving, whole food, plant-based way of eating. And we have devised a “system” of sorts for helping those newly inspired MDs as they “enthusiastically” promote health with their patients.

Survey Image jpg How HealthyWe call that “system” 4Leaf for Life–based on the simple concept of helping people maximize the percent of their daily calories from whole, plant-based foods. Here are a few of our tools that you and your physician might find helpful.

Please share these tools with those doctors who you think might have an open mind to this type of information:

  • Our 4Leaf Survey is the heart of our 4Leaf model: It is a simple, two-minute, online tool that enables people around the world estimate the percent of their daily calories from whole plant-based foods. Take that survey now at It generates a comprehensive custom report that is available by email.
  • Using 4Leaf in Medicine. How can physicians use 4Leaf to efficiently use their time to promote health? This one-pager may give them some ideas.
  • First, do no harm. Your doctor still not onboard with promoting health? Give him/her that letter mentioned earlier. Letter to Your Doctor
  • Give your doctor a book that will save them countless hours in explaining the all-important WHY and HOW information with their patients. 4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health.
  • Share this article your are now reading with your favorite doctor. Then follow up to see if he/she has read it. Physician Heal Thyself, Then Others. Also ask all of your friends and family to share this article with all of their doctors. For more 4Leaf tools, visit
  • 3rd annual International Plant-Based Healthcare Conference (Sept. 30-Oct 3 in Anaheim, CA). It’s still not too late for your doctor to attend this event and learn from the superstars of WFPB eating: Campbell, Esselstyn, Ornish and others. Check it out at Our good friends Susan Benigas, Dr. Scott Stoll and Tom Dunnam conduct this important event every year.

The Bottom Line. Deserved or not, the world’s physicians are the most respected source of dietary advice. We must all do our part to inspire, encourage and support them as they make the all-important transition back to the the simple model espoused by Hippocrates thousands of years ago:

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.

The following six books can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. 4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health, powerful new book by Kerry Graff, MD and yours truly
  2. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (my first book)
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. Primary cause of cancer is not bad luck. Stop Feeding Your Cancer, by John Kelly, MD
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy you are eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes about two minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

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

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program website, which is now being used by an ever-growing army of enlightened medical doctors who are fed up with “disease care” and want to promote true health for their patients.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

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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