MEET THE DIPLOMATE

aloysius mark madhok, md

 

 - American Board of Obesity MedicineDr. Madhok is currently a fellow in Gastroenterology & Hepatology at SUNY Upstate Medical University. He is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians.

Why did you pursue obesity medicine certification? When I decided to embark on fellowship training in Gastroenterology, I developed a deep desire to pursue formal training in Obesity Medicine for its utility in clinical practice and be prepared for the next major epidemic. I realize that I can use this to influence treatment decisions and facilitate my patients making healthier choices. Also, with the evolving field of endo-bariatrics, I find it immensely useful that ABOM certification is complementary to my future practice as a gastroenterologist.

Many doctors have told us about the “aha” moment that stimulated their interest in obesity medicine. Do you have an obesity medicine “aha” moment that sticks out in your memory?  I realized through a personal journey of weight loss, of its profound impact on overall health and well-being of an individual. My PCP, Dr Linda Thomas-Hemak was one of first few ABOM diplomates in my area, and she influenced my decision to practically apply principles of obesity medicine to myself. When I realized my sense of well-being being restored, this became my mission to influence those around me and my patients to experience the same.

How do you currently incorporate your obesity medicine training into your practice? ABOM certification enables me to have a structured and non-stigmatizing approach to preemptively motivate patients to make healthier choices and treat those at risk of obesity-related adverse outcomes.

Why do you believe obesity medicine certification is valuable? Obesity medicine certification is a stamp of approval and recognition for physicians who are passionate about treating patients with obesity. It also empowers patients to choose their physicians, whom they can trust as meeting the standards set by certification.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your practice? Challenges of  drug approvals for weight loss and prior authorization denials have been some of the major hurdles.

What do you wish other physicians knew about treating obesity? Obesity is a modifiable risk factor and underpins many of the disease processes at play. I wish the whole community of health care professionals would become aware to address this issue at every level. Cognizance of this fact calls for not just changes in individual practice but changes at the health system and health policy level.


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