The Prescribe Vegetarian Campaign
Teach doctors to use this powerful medicine
Are plant foods the miracle drugs of the 21st century? It may seem surprising to think that a vegetarian diet could be used in just the same way doctors use drugs and surgery, but those who promote the medical benefits of a vegetarian diet have a powerful ally on their side: science! A healthy vegetarian diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts is powerful medicine. We call it Vegetarian Nutritional Medicine.
Vegetarians of Washington, and the many doctors who support them, say that the evidence demonstrates that when a patient changes their diet to a vegetarian diet, they can often lower their blood pressure, clean out their arteries, reduce their dependence on medications, and experience a dramatic reduction in the symptoms of disease. Even better, it can prevent disease from occurring in the first place.
We aim to help solve a problem. People complain that their doctors can’t help them when it comes to nutrition, and have little advice to offer, because they weren’t taught it in medical school. Patients often have no choice but to go it alone if they want to use nutritional medicine to get well. In a national study, over 90% of doctors felt their training in nutrition was inadequate. Patients deserve better than that, and the public deserves doctors who don’t turn a blind eye to life-saving treatments.
Here’s what we’re going to do about it.
Since this problem starts in medical school, Vegetarians of Washington is launching the Prescribe Vegetarian campaign by asking that medical schools change their curriculum, to include teaching students how to prescribe healthy vegetarian food, along with all the other treatments at their disposal. To help things along we have already given presentations to med students at two northwest medical schools. But we won’t stop there.
We’re also going to give presentations to practicing doctors on how to effectively prescribe plant based diets to their patients as well as the science behind it. We’ll also begin posting the latest research so that doctors will have the information they need readily at their disposal.
But that’s still not enough.
Doctors don’t practice in a vacuum. We need structural reform as well. Therefore, we will seek to get the insurance companies to cover this life and money saving treatment. We will also seek to increase the access and choice patients have by seeking to have vegetarian nutritional medicine available in hospitals, state supported health clinics and even student health centers. We’ll work to get new policies adopted in health care, seek better implementation of existing policies and if necessary seek the passage of new legislation.