It’s official — Washingtonians now have plant-based practitioners at their fingertips. The Barnard Medical Center, founded by renowned physician Neal Barnard (of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, or PCRM), opened its doors in Washington, D.C. this week.
The plant-based medical center (which we first reported on back in May) will see approximately 4,000 primary care patients per year, all of whom will get plenty of education from staff physicians on the importance of diet and nutrition.
“We’ll offer additional resources—including cooking and nutrition courses, visits with our dietitians, and in some cases support groups—for weight loss, heart health, type 2 diabetes, and migraines and arthritis,” says staff doctor Steve Neabore. “For any condition which is known to respond well to dietary intervention, we will offer support and education for those patients.”
For example, if a patient had headaches or migraines, the staff dietician would examine the patient’s dietary triggers and discuss what to potentially avoid (meat, apples, chocolate, etc.).
Medications will be prescribed for certain conditions, but nutrition will always be addressed as a factor for treatment and recovery.
“The art of modern medicine is changing: We realize that many chronic health problems are not caused by a need for prescription medications, but rather by poor diet,” explains Dr. Neabore. “Barnard Medical Center will focus on treating the root cause of these problems, rather than only trying to alleviate the symptoms of chronic disease.”
Dr. Neabore explains that many doctors haven’t had the appropriate training in nutrition, and aren’t aware of the many health benefits a plant-based diet has to offer. “In the United States and in many other Western countries, people are living longer but not better,” he explains. “They are unable to enjoy their favorite activities due to progressive disability as they age. We now know that this often stems from a lifetime of poor dietary choices. We want to educate our patients and enable them to lead healthful, fruitful lives.”
“Barnard Medical Center is happy to guide the way toward better health by using nutrition and medicine in one prescription for complete primary care.”
Barnard Medical Center is located at 5100 Wisconsin Ave NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC.