Member spotlight – Meet Internationally Board Certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician Dr Andrea Matthews
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 have worked in General Practice for the past 20 years, practising what we felt was wholistic, good quality medicine, in a small community in Sydney’s Inner West. Like many GPs, our practice took the stand of providing a service to the community, rather than profit, and aimed to be preventative in our care.
How did you come to Lifestyle Medicine?
I stumbled upon Lifestyle Medicine, through a chance lunch meeting. I was asked what type of medicine I practised, to which my colleague replied have you heard of Lifestyle Medicine? Are you Board Certified? I went home and straight to Google, only to find a Subspecialty of medicine that I had been living and teaching for decades without knowing it. It was like coming home.
Why did you choose Board Certification?
Once I started reading about Lifestyle Medicine, I just wanted to learn more, and really formalise what I did every day.
How has, or how do you envisage Board Certification influencing your career/direction?
Totally changed. I have moved from my beloved practice to work for ELIA Wellness (operated by Adventist Health Care as a not-for-profit charity) in establishing an interdisciplinary Lifestyle Medicine Centre at Wahroonga.
Our Lifestyle Medicine Centre provides interventions in the form of individual appointments and 12 week programs , to help patients in their journey of learning how to live well. We have an interdisciplinary team of LM certified GPs, Exercise Physiologist, Dietitian, Health Coach and RN that work together to provide intensive 12 week clinical programs to target chronic disease, with aims of preventing, halting and where possible remitting chronic disease.
Programs include individual assessments, group sessions, cooking classes, regular health coaching, and online support through our digital platform.
Any advice for members considering Board Certification enrolment?
If you are even remotely interested in wholistic health just do it! Lifestyle Medicine will help you practice better medicine and give you tools to enable you to empower your patients to better health.
Tell us a random fact about yourself
Random fact – I have done the Tongariro Crossing 4 times, in every season. I love tramping especially in New Zealand and Tasmania.