Prescribe Veg Campaign

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The Prescribe Vegetarian Campaign

Teach doctors to use this powerful medicine

Stewart Rose and Kendall Shibuya (Student President) at Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine, OR

Doctors agree, a vegetarian diet is more than just a lifestyle choice: It can actually heal what ails you. Now doctors and lawmakers are joining Vegetarians of Washington in urging that young doctors be trained to recommend vegetarian diets for everything from diabetes, heart disease, obesity, to even some forms of cancer.

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 large amount of high quality scientific research, published in America’s leading mainstream medical journals, has been building up for many years now. Vegetarians of Washington, and the many doctors who support them, say that this 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.

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.

Meeting at UW 06.18.15

Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose at University of Washington’s School of Medicine

Here’s what we’re doing about it:

We are working with the Dean of Curriculum at the University of Washington medical school, to incorporate valuable information on the prevention and treatment of various diseases with a vegetarian diet into the new UW medical school curriculum.

We have given several presentations to naturopathic medical students at Bastyr University, and exchanged letters with the President of the School of Osteopathy in Yakima.

Students from both UW School of Medicine and Bastyr University’s Naturopathic Medicine program attended the Vegfest Medical Seminar.

Practicing Physicians

Medical Seminar – At Vegfest this year (April 9th, 2016), we held a free medical seminar for physicians and medical students, focused on the prevention and treatment of disease with a plant-based diet. This 2 hour seminar featured regional physicians talking about the latest research and their clinical experience in a selection of specialties. Watch videos of their presentations.

Online Resource – To explain the many health benefits of a vegetarian diet to doctors, we are providing educational postings to familiarize doctors with the science and clinical application of vegetarian nutritional medicine in our blog The Vegetarian Prescription.

Presentations – We can offer an introductory presentation, and some presentations focused on particular specialties, specifically designed for doctors and medical students, which we are happy to give to groups of doctors or medical students. Please register your interest using the form below.

Referrals – As doctors sign up to support this campaign, we are maintaining an online list of Supporting Physicians.  You may find this list useful for referrals to doctors who are supportive of using a plant-based diet to help treat or prevent disease. If you’re a physician who would like to be added to this list, please contact us.


Bastyr University medical students listen to Stewart Rose talk about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet

Bastyr University medical students listen to Stewart Rose talk about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet

To support this change, we are looking into the opportunities for legislation at the state level, to require that insurance companies cover this treatment, and that public health centers offer it as an option, for example. A presentation for legislators has been prepared to help communicate the importance of this proposal.

Host a Presentation on Vegetarian Nutritional Medicine

We have put together a detailed presentation on many of these benefits, one geared towards medical doctors, another geared toward legislators. It is difficult to gain a comprehensive understanding of the details from just looking at this presentation, but we are happy to provide a knowledgeable speaker to give this presentation to groups of doctors or legislators. Please register your interest in hosting this presentation below, and we will contact you.