Education in Lifestyle Medicine

What just happened to education in Lifestyle Medicine?

Expression of interest form

We’d love to know your level of interest in the courses described on this page and to be able to send you information as they develop. Keep in mind that these courses all provide points towards Fellowship of the society (whether Grad Cert, Grad Dip or Masters), and all provide some level of advanced standing for those who have done the IBLM exam. So if you have any interest at all, let us know and we’ll keep you informed!

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Level of Interest*
Please select the option which is most applicable to your level of interest in pursuing a Grad Cert, Grad Dip or Masters in Lifestyle Medicine.

An important announcement from ASLM’s Executive Director

Dear members and friends,

Those of you who have been following ASLM will know how quickly we have been growing. It’s exciting to see Lifestyle Medicine (LM) coming of age, both in Australia and New Zealand, and around the world. There are societies and colleges now established in about 30 countries, with the American College, the British Society and the Australasian Society leading the charge. Your personal support, and our collective vision and energy makes all of this possible, thank you!

Global setting

There are currently around 10,000 members of LM societies globally with an estimated audience of hundreds of thousands of health professionals.  The 30 or so societies are nearly all members of the Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance – a standards setting and collaborative network aiming to coordinate what is now a global movement. In addition, I believe there are already around 3500 certified diplomates of the IBLM, which is a remarkable number given the IBLM exam only commenced in 2017. All of these people will be interested in this announcement.

Local setting

As the second oldest LM society and the third largest after the American College and British Society, ASLM is nearing 1000 members and now working with numerous stakeholder organisations across Australia and New Zealand, developing large scale academic collaborations and supporting multiple initiatives with dedicated projects, research and grants/philanthropy personnel. Our office team has grown from one person to nine dedicated team members. Not to mention our volunteer board, roundtables, task forces, working parties, and countless contributors.

It’s in this context that I would like to draw your attention to something remarkable happening in post graduate education in Lifestyle Medicine in Australasia, and which will have global impact:

Grad Cert, Grad Dip and Master of Lifestyle Medicine – JCU

In a recent newsletter, some of you will have seen the announcement of a new Masters degree in Lifestyle Medicine (incorporating a Grad Cert and Grad Dip) in the School of Medicine and Dentistry at James Cook University (JCU), launching in early 2022. The course is being developed by ASLM President, Dr Sam Manger, who is widely known for his The GP Show podcast. Find out more and enrol here.

Master of Lifestyle Medicine – SCU

Now I’m delighted to make the first announcement of a new Masters degree in Lifestyle Medicine at Southern Cross University (SCU), also launching early 2022.  In this case, LM pioneers Profs Garry Egger and John Stevens will be instrumental in developing the course. Many of you will know that there was previously a masters in Lifestyle Medicine at SCU, and I want to thank ASLM Fellow, Prof Jon Wardle, for bringing Lifestyle Medicine back to SCU to reclaim the title of Australia’s first Masters of Lifestyle Medicine in an all new format.  You can read more and enquire directly here.

Grad Cert, Grad Dip and Master of Lifestyle Medicine – AU

Finally, most of you will be aware of the longest serving provider of post graduate education in Lifestyle Medicine in Australia, the Grad Cert and Grad Dip at Avondale University College (AU) led by A/Prof Darren Morton, and with some well-known names in LM teaching into the course. Congratulations to the team at Avondale on recently achieving full university status, and on the recent addition of a Masters level program. You can read more here.

Global impact

I specifically want to thank the strategic minds at JCU, SCU and AU, including Vice Chancellors, Deans and Heads of School for recognising and endorsing the need for this education. Given that to date, other than the previous masters program at SCU, the only Lifestyle Medicine masters available worldwide has been the MSc in Lifestyle Medicine at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, along with the Lifestyle Medicine focus of the various MPH degrees at Loma Linda in California, this is a quantum shift in the availability of post graduate education in LM globally

Relevance to the profession

Each of these courses has been developed specifically to meet the needs of health professionals wanting to expand their knowledge and skill to practice Lifestyle Medicine within their discipline. It’s widely understood that Lifestyle Medicine fills a substantial void in health professional education – essentially there is a research/practice gap around ‘lifestyle advice’ which is increasingly being recognised as first line treatment in clinical guidelines – that is the need for lifestyle intervention and counselling at the coalface of clinical practice, but a near complete lack of training in how to do this effectively.

Special recognition from ASLM

Each of these courses are accredited by ASLM and provide a convenient pathway to fellowship of the society. To support uptake of this education, ASLM will waive the usual limit on the proportion of the ASLM fellowship that can be earned through RPL for these courses, meaning that in most cases, people with a health related degree who go on to complete one of these courses will accumulate sufficient RPL to be awarded the ASLM Fellowship, subject to choice of electives and the usual individual fellowship assessment.

Choices to suit your preferences

The courses all have their own individual approach to the learning material, and also offer different course structures. For example, the SCU masters will be an 8 unit degree delivered in a ‘6×6’ semi-intensive format, meaning that up to 6 units of 6 weeks each can be undertaken per year with each unit representing 150 nominal learning hours. In contrast, the JCU masters will be a 12 unit masters with each unit likely to represent 120 nominal learning hours. Each course will provide opportunity for a research project and we expect that ASLM will act as a source of inspiration, coordination and collaboration for what will be a significant body of research generated by students.

Special recognition for IBLM diplomates

At this stage I also believe that all three universities will offer some level of advanced standing for diplomates of the IBLM, subject to their usual processes for RPL (recognition of prior learning). Stay tuned for more information on this as we learn more from the universities.

Final word

It’s exciting to see this change taking place and I am proud of the work we have been doing at ASLM to facilitate these initiatives. Australian education is already popular overseas, and with exchange rates in their favour, I expect these online courses will be particularly attractive to students in the US, Europe and the UK. Most importantly, this marks the beginning of making LM education available where it is needed most – in undergraduate education for the health professions. This is already well underway in the US with dozens of medical schools in various stages of introducing Lifestyle Medicine into their courses. We hope to see the same here soon across medicine, dietetics, exercise science, psychology and nursing, to name a few, and also in registrar training for medical graduates.

We look forward to keeping you up to date on developments as we hear more over the next few months.