MEET THE DIPLOMATE
nadia b. pietrzykowska, md
Dr. Nadia Pietrzykowska graduated from Warsaw Medical School in Poland. She completed her internal medicine residency at Capital Health in NJ where she also was chief resident. Afterwards, she continued her medical education with a fellowship in obesity medicine and nutrition at Geisinger Medical Center in Pennsylvania. This allowed her to obtain hands-on experience in treating obesity and broad understanding of clinical nutrition. She then decided to dedicate her career to the medical management of the chronic disease of obesity. She currently practices in Ewing, NJ and is the president and medical director of “Weight & Life MD”. She is also actively involved with the Obesity Action Coalition as a member of their Education Committee and regularly writes for their magazine.
Why did you pursue obesity medicine certification? Why do you believe obesity medicine certification is valuable?
I like to practice evidence-based medicine. The ABOM certification and exam helped me acquire a good knowledge foundation in the field of obesity medicine. In addition, the certification itself adds to the credibility of a physician practicing obesity medicine.
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?
A few years ago, I was caring for a difficult and very critical patient in the ICU. This patient was also obese and had a history of bariatric surgery. I felt that knowledge regarding treating these patients was not sufficient. This patient’s care was not optimal before her hospitalization and this affected her outcome when she became critically ill.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your practice?
Although commercial insurance plans have made progress in covering non-surgical obesity treatment, federal programs have not. This significantly limits these patients access to obesity care.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
We currently have 3-year weight loss and maintenance DATA for our patients. This is very encouraging for both our patients and myself as obesity is a chronic relapsing medical condition.
What do you wish other physicians knew about treating obesity?
Please start the conversation with your patients about weight. Treat obesity as a disease either yourself or refer to a qualified professional.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with obesity medicine?
Practicing obesity medicine is challenging but very rewarding. Knowledge in this field is constantly growing and we can make a significant impact on patient health and quality and life.
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