A couple of years ago I started a weight management clinic at the University of Chicago. By starting the clinic, my initial goal was to help people navigate the weight-unfriendly food environment that’s typical throughout America. I started the clinic with the same idealism I had when I was a medical student—an earnest desire to help people. There was no grand vision of accolades, books, research, or TV shows. Throughout my medical career, I saw our relationship with food as the most important, yet least addressed contributor to health problems. In good conscience, I couldn’t practice medicine without acknowledging both the positive and negative impact of food on our health.
I gave up academic time to accommodate extra time and space for the clinic. My goal was to start slowly and only see a few patients per half day, but things changed quickly. The clinic began to grow immediately.
After participating in the clinic for 2 years and seeing hundreds, if not thousands of patients, I’ve learned a lot as a doctor and as a person. In this post, I’ll share a few of those lessons and tidbits.