It’s not shocking to say that as physicians, we have drunk the Kool-Aid when it comes to the practice of medicine. It’s not that we are ignorant; it’s just that our training is one-dimensional, especially regarding topics such as preventing heart disease.
Not just heart disease, but preventing cancer or dementia or depression – unless it’s the AHA, ADA, or Lancet, we don’t believe it’s possible.
The purpose of this article isn’t to discuss how you can prevent a heart attack but how you can design a heart disease prevention program.
I have little interest in prescribing a patient atorvastatin and checking their lipids every 6 months while they develop diabetes, osteoarthritis, MCI, and later, dementia.
Reinventing the Wheel
When it comes to designing a heart disease prevention program, perhaps the biggest barrier to entry is coming up with the content.
Fortunately, it’s already out there. What’s more important is whether the topic interests you.
If it’s not cardiovascular disease, perhaps it’s mental health, weight loss, dementia, diabetes, etc.
Brilliant physicians are creating clinical content on the topic of cardiovascular medicine daily. They are interviewing key field researchers and digesting many research articles.
Making the Content Accessible
Information is abundant. In fact, it’s overwhelming. Someone has to come along who can make the information easy to implement.
Sticking with the heart disease example, here are the variables I want to adjust in a potential client:
- lipid profile
- inflammatory markers
- glucose metabolism
- exercise capacity
On my Heart Health Coaching site, I touch on the topic of Lp(a), but I don’t get overly technical when implementing a program for a client.
The goal is to present some information, help the client find more resources to self-educate, and then help them overcome the barriers necessary to make changes.
My goal is to educate and inspire.
Educating and Inspiring
The majority of the articles I write may not be pertinent to you. You’ll see the email about the topic and delete it if it’s not interesting to you.
When a topic interests you, you want to be inspired to take action. That’s how I write my articles, putting myself in your shoes and figuring out what barriers you might face.
We educate clients/patients/customers by bringing up examples and breaking a complex topic down.
We inspire by highlighting what the patient has already achieved and offer them easy tasks to check off on their path towards their goal.
I hear your frustration; you wished that you could have a normal lipid profile from the diet changes alone because the thought of taking medication isn’t appealing.
What’s important is that you don’t smoke, you hardly drink alcohol, your blood sugars are spot-on, and you have stuck to your exercise routine without fail.
Do you know anyone who is close to you who is on a cholesterol medication who is doing well? Have you asked them about their experience with that medication?
As physicians, we are trusted to have the most up-to-date information. If not that, at least we know where to get it. It’s relatively easy for even a pediatrician to become a heart disease expert.
I can use my MD/DO degree on my HHC site to educate patients and demonstrate why I am a topic authority.
Authority can also be established if you author enough content on a topic in adequate depth.
Consumers are rather intelligent and can discern a clown from an expert.
To demonstrate your authority, it’s necessary to refer to your credentials but publish content on the topic addressing it from different angles.
You might know everything there is to know about ApoB, but can you explain it to a human being? Can you put it into context and help people decide how to address it based on their resources?
Health consumers prefer to have different ways of digesting content these days. From audio to written content to live classes.
Offering a variety is important.
Perhaps you have a 6-week course on weight management. But you also have a 45-minute audio course you sell to help someone understand the different weight loss methods out there.
Over the next few years, I aim to have smaller courses for $99, a la carte. I’ll synthesize these into a bigger, guided course which I can sell for $2,500.
Live classes where people get to interact and ask questions is also a great option. It depends on what you enjoy doing. The goal is to meet the client where they are and not where you think they should be.
I’m not a gynecologist, but I’ll go toe to toe with any gynecologist on the topic of birth control selection, PCOS, and vaginismus.
It’s not that I’m cocky, but medical school and residency gave me the tools necessary to structure my own learning on a topic.
In my Heart Health coaching practice, I am not about to delve into the minutia of rhythm control vs. rate control. I am not trying to be a cardiologist. Instead, I focus my energy on helping the client overcome their barrier to appropriate cardiac rehabilitation to lower their resting heart rate, improving their Afib bouts.
Check out some of these related articles I’ve published before: