richele corrado, md
Originally from Hershey, PA I am a former US Navy physician who is currently practicing at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center as a civilian. I am a General Internist and Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Walter Reed. I became ABOM certified in 2021 and currently serve as the founder and director for Walter Reed’s Internal Medicine Comprehensive Weight Management Program. I have given numerous presentations regionally, nationally and internationally and have won several awards for teaching and mentoring. I have been recognized within Walter Reed as a Best of the Best provider and was appointed to Associate Master Clinician. I am an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and was inducted into the school’s Gold Humanism Honor Society. My practice is focused on training future military leaders, improving obesity care for active duty service members and veterans while researching health disparities. When I’m not at work I enjoy running and spending time with my husband, two energetic kids, and dog.
Why did you pursue obesity medicine certification? As an internal medicine doctor, I felt powerless at times when my patients would struggle to lose weight despite their best efforts. I felt like I continued to treat patients for their weight related disease complications, and I didn’t know much about how to effectively help patients achieve and maintain meaningful weight loss to improve their overall health.
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 attended an obesity medicine workshop at a national internal medicine conference that really inspired me. The presenters talked about how impactful and rewarding it was to help patients successfully lose weight and improve their health and function. I left that conference motivated to expand my knowledge so I could best help my patients and that is how I found ABOM. It was the best decision that I’ve made in my career yet.
How do you currently incorporate your obesity medicine training into your practice? Over the last 6 years, I have gradually built a comprehensive weight management program including intensive lifestyle counseling as well as individualized weight management evaluation and treatment within my current general internal medicine practice.
Why do you believe obesity medicine certification is valuable? Treating a patient’s disease of obesity leads to improvements in hypertension, diabetes, CV disease, mood, etc. Understanding how to treat patients with evidence based medicine approaches especially in a world currently filled with so much misinformation was important to me. ABOM certification gives you evidence based knowledge without bias.
What is your greatest success story so far? I work at Walter Reed where increasing rates of obesity in active duty service members are a significant threat to readiness and national security. Also, there is even more weight bias and stigma in the military than the civilian sector. Helping active duty service members successfully lose weight, improve their readiness, and more importantly their confidence has been the most rewarding.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your practice? I teach a lot about the disease of obesity and how to best treat it to medical students, residents, staff. I find it incredibly challenging to try to change the inherent weight bias that many of the older staff providers have. Despite how much we talk about the complex pathophysiology of obesity, changing their perceptions and beliefs is a challenge at times.
What do you wish other physicians knew about treating obesity? It is the most rewarding thing that I have done in medicine yet. Oftentimes, I am the first person who has really listened to a patient about their weight struggles. Helping patients achieve meaningful weight loss with improvements in their mood, function, and associated disease processes has been incredibly rewarding. I feel like I am improving not only their health but their entire mood including confidence.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with obesity medicine? It is 100% worth the time and effort!
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