The District of Columbia has just gotten a progressive new medical facility. The Barnard Medical Center, founded by the respected doctor of the same name, is a primary care center both in form and function. What makes this facility special is its unique focus on proper nutrition and diet, especially those that are plant-based.
Dr. Barnard’s clinic will place more emphasis on treating “the root causes of illness, with extra attention on improving health through prevention and nutrition,” according to the facility’s website. Increasingly, the medical community is beginning to realize that many modern illnesses can be caused by poor a diet. In order to combat this, the Barnard Medical Center “takes advantage of years of research conducted by the Physicians Committee research team and other researchers, showing how a new approach to medicine and nutrition could help prevent and reverse serious health problems.”
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (of which Dr. Barnard is the head of research) studies human nutrition and health, and how they affect things like weight, diabetes, migraines, among others. They hope to use the results of their research to advance the knowledge of the medical community as a whole and to improve medical treatment practices by prioritizing proper, plant-based diets and nutrition.
So, what does this mean for patients? This is still a primary care center and prescriptions can still be ordered, but they are not the first line of defense as with most modern medical practices. As the clinic puts it, “although medications often play a key role in health, if your problem is nutritional, we will help you tackle that, too. Perhaps you won’t need medications at all.” In fact, Barnard Medical Center even offers nutritional courses, cooking classes and support groups for their patients.
“At the Barnard Medical Center, we emphasize the role of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of illness and chronic diseases that have reached epidemic proportions, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, obesity, and high blood pressure.”
Whether you’re a vegan, a vegetarian or an omnivore, it’s tough to argue with Dr. Barnard’s approach. A better diet is a healthy, smart and safe choice no matter who you are. If you’d like to read the Physicians Committee’s advice on vegan and vegetarian diets, you can find it here.