mamta patel, md

Why did you pursue obesity medicine certification?
As a primary care physician, I recommend weight loss to several of my patients. One of my patients once asked me how to achieve that goal and that’s when I realized that I needed more training to guide my patients proficiently towards their objectives. I was intrigued by the pathophysiology of obesity medicine and the science behind it. I was confident that pursuing Obesity medicine certification would fulfill my desire and it has.

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?
After giving birth to my twins I struggled with my weight for several years. It was during that time I recognized that the roots of obesity medicine were much deeper and treatment much more complex than what I had learned during medical school or residency. My personal encounter with weight loss made me understand the challenges my patients face with their weight. That is what stimulated my interest in obesity medicine.

How do you currently incorporate your obesity medicine training into your practice?
After my obesity medicine certification, I have started a weight loss clinic in my office. I am now able to use the current evidence-based treatment to manage obesity and comorbidities related to obesity and I can safely and effectively support my patients through their weight loss journey. I also mentor medical students and residents sparking their interest in obesity medicine.

Why do you believe obesity medicine certification is valuable?
Obesity medicine certification has given me the boost that I needed to guide my patients skillfully towards their weight loss goals. I have a better understanding of the pathophysiology of obesity medicine, the pharmacology used to aid weight loss, the different eating disorders, and the intricacy of the disease.

What is the biggest challenge you face in your practice?
The biggest challenge is dearth of trained personnel and resources. Weight management requires a multidisciplinary team including a trained physician, a nutritionist an exercise physiologist and a psychologist to achieve the best results.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?
I have more than one great achievement.  I am not only able to cut down on the medicines used for management of comorbidities related to increased weight, but I am also able to promote behavioral changes and lifestyle changes not only in my patients, but their families and friends and the community as whole.

What do you wish other physicians knew about treating obesity?
Many physicians avoid discussing weight loss with patients due to lack of appropriate training and time constrains. Obesity is a chronic health condition and I wish more physicians would incorporate it in their clinical practice.  

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