Member spotlight – Meet ASLM Fellow and Internationally Board Certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician Dr Kelly-Anne Garnier

ASLM Member Spotlights showcase the invaluable work that ASLM Fellows, Board Certified Professionals and member ambassadors are doing to establish Lifestyle Medicine as central to health, healthcare and health policy. ASLM members represent a broad range of medical and health practitioners as well as passionate professionals working in health and wellbeing who believe that and interdisciplinary and lifestyle-centric approach should be considered when it comes to the prevention and management of chronic and lifestyle-related disease.

What is your background?

I’m a specialist General Practitioner with Fellowship from both the Royal Australian College of General Practice (RACGP) and the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (FASLM). I’ve also completed additional training in Mental Health. I came to medicine later in life after initially working in the Financial Service industry as a Business Analyst then Business Banker.

How did you come to Lifestyle Medicine

It was very much about trying to personalise my approach to treating my patient and to facilitate improved health literacy and behavioural change amongst my patient cohort. Whilst I had a wonderful background of knowledge in primary care, I wanted to enhance the depth and bread of my skills to further empower and motivate my patients around what they could do to prevent and manage chronic disease.

Why did you choose Fellowship and Board Certification?

I believe in the importance of ongoing professional development – it enhances my clinical service offering and sustains my own motivation. When I came to find Lifestyle Medicine, I felt I had finally ‘found my tribe’ and wanted to legitimise this standing and make a commitment to this standard of practice. I also believe it informs the public of the manner in which I practice.

How has, or how do you envisage Fellowship and Board Certification influencing your career/direction?

Aside from making a difference to each and every consultation, it has provided the impetus for pivoting my business to target patients interested and motivated to adopt a lifestyle medicine approach to their health and wellbeing. It has also opened doors for me to advocate for this style of practice amongst my peers and in our industry which I thoroughly enjoy. Further to this, it’s helped me identify areas for improvement so with that in mind I’ve completed further studies in Plant Nutrition and am currently enrolled in a Health Coaching course. The next cab off the rank will be getting Shared Medical Appointments up and running. I can’t wait!

Any advice for members considering Fellowship enrolment?

Just do it! I struggled with my own imposter syndrome prior to eventually committing to further studies when I found myself at a career hiatus early in the pandemic period. In hindsight, I wish I’d taken the plunge earlier. The sense of community I have derived and the better overall fit I feel in this Fellowship has renewed my commitment for clinical medicine. I find this style of practice is quite protective against burnout – so please don’t hesitate any longer!

Speak to anyone at ASLM – I’ve never had anything but a helpful and encouraging response. This Fellowship program is incredibly flexible compared to more traditional options and this alone makes it a great deal easier to juggle for the time pressed health professional.

Enjoy the journey – half the fun is applying these principles to your own life – I am more active in my 40s than I was in my 20s and 30s. My own lifestyle has changed significantly since embarking on this journey. It may not be you’re ready to pivot your practice or patient base – but what about your own life?

Tell us a random fact about yourself

Outside of work, I’m a devoted mother to a Golden Retriever called Leo – he’s my world. My other passions are walking the Camino – which I would do every year if I could – and improving my abysmal golf handicap!

Interested in learning more about Lifestyle Medicine?