As more and more studies are released showing the health benefits of vegan and plant-based lifestyles, more physicians are advocating for this lifestyle. While vegan and plant-based doctors advocate mostly the same dietary guidelines, there are slight differences in what they recommend – and why.
In this post, learn about some of the most well-known vegan and plant-based doctors – their backgrounds, what they promote….and why!
Vegan and Plant-Based Doctors – 18 to follow!
Dr. Michael Klaper, MD
Dr. Michael Klaper is a gifted clinician, internationally-recognized teacher, and sought-after speaker on diet and health. In addition to his clinical practice and private consultations with patients, he is a passionate and devoted educator of physicians and other healthcare professionals about the importance of nutrition in clinical practice and integrative medicine.
Dr. Michael Klaper graduated from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1972. He served a medical internship at Vancouver General Hospital in British Columbia, Canada and received training in surgery, anesthesiology and orthopedics at the University of British Columbia Hospital in Vancouver. Additionally, he was trained in obstetrics at the University of California Hospital, San Francisco. (Source: DrKlaper.com)
“The purpose of cow’s milk is to turn a 65-pound calf into a 400-pound cow as rapidly as possible. Cow’s milk is baby cows’ growth fluid. Everything in that white liquid – the hormones, the lipids, the proteins, the sodium, the growth factors, the IGF – every one of those is meant to blow that cow up to a great big cow or it wouldn’t be there……And women eat it and it stimulates their tissues and it gives women breast lumps, it makes the uterus get big and they get fibroids and they bleed and they get hysterectomies, and they need mammograms, and it gives guys man boobs. Cow’s milk is the lactation secretions of a large bovine mammal who just had a baby, it’s for baby calves…..there’s nothing in it people need.” – Dr. Michael Klaper
Dr. Michael Greger, M.D.
Dr. Greger is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. A founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Greger is licensed as a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition.
He is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. In 2017, Dr. Greger was honored with the ACLM Lifestyle Medicine Trailblazer Award and became a diplomat of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine
“The primary reason diseases tend to run in families may be that diets tend to run in families.” – Dr.
Dr. Kristi Funk
Dr. Kristi Funk, MD is a board-certified breast cancer surgeon & physician, bestselling author, international keynote speaker, and women’s health advocate.
After graduating with distinction in Psychology from Stanford University in 1991, Dr. Funk received her medical degree from the UC Davis, School of Medicine, in 1996. She then completed her 5-year general surgery residency in Seattle, followed by a surgical breast fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, (Source: PinkLotus.com)
“87% of all women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have a single first-degree relative with breast cancer and about 80% don’t have any. It shows you, ‘Okay, wait a minute. If I can’t blame my parents, if I can’t blame genetics, well, who can I blame?’ And it turns out, you’re looking at her in the mirror, and that is not meant to vilify or make someone feel solely responsible, but rather to empower women to realize, ‘Wait a minute, you’re saying, I have a hand in this?’ And I’m like, ‘Sister, you have such a strong hold on this disease. If you have no idea, I want you to get an idea right now…and that’s why I wrote the book.” – Dr. Kristi Funk
Dr. Neal Barnard, MD
Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, is an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Originally from Fargo, North Dakota, Dr. Barnard received his MD degree at the George Washington University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the same institution. He practiced at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York before returning to Washington to found the Physicians Committee.
“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all-natural disasters, and all auto-mobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of “real food for real people” you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.” – Dr. Neal Barnard
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD
Caldwell Blakeman Esselstyn Jr. is an American physician, author, and former Olympic rowing champion. Esselstyn is director of the Heart Disease Reversal Program at the Cleveland Clinic. Esselstyn is director of the Heart Disease Reversal Program at the Cleveland Clinic. And is the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (2007), in which he argued for a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet that avoids all animal products and oils,
Dr. Esselstyn received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Western Reserve University.
“Some people think that the plant-based whole foods diet is extreme. Half a million a year will have their chests opened up, a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.” – Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr
Dr. Milton Mills, MD
Milton Mills, MD practices urgent care medicine in the Washington DC area, and has served previously as Associate Director of Preventive Medicine and as a member of the National Advisory Board, for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). He has been a major contributor to position papers presented by PCRM to the United States Department of Agriculture regarding Dietary Guidelines for Americans and has been the lead plaintiff in PCRM’s class action lawsuit that asks for warning labels on milk.
Dr. Mills earned his medical degree at Stanford University School of Medicine and completed an Internal Medicine residency at Georgetown University Hospital. He has published several research journal articles dealing with racial bias in federal nutrition policy. He frequently donates his time via practicing at free medical clinics, and travels widely, speaking at hospitals, churches, and community centers throughout the country. He was featured in the recent attention-getting film “What the Health,” and will also appear in the upcoming film “The Silent Vegan.” (Source: PreventionofDisease.org)
“Drinking milk for the nutrients is like inhaling cigarette smoke for the oxygen.” – Dr. Milton Mills
Dr. Monica Aggarwal
Monica Aggarwal, MD, is an adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine in the University of Florida Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. Board certified in cardiology, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology, and advanced cholesterol management, she is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), where she is a member of the nutrition council working on nutrition policies for the nation. Dr. Aggarwal specializes in preventative management of heart disease with lifestyle techniques in conjunction with medications.
Dr. Aggarwal received her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and subsequently went on to complete a residency in internal medicine at Tufts-New England Medical Center. She then completed a cardiology fellowship at the University of Maryland. (Source: DrMonicaAggarwal.com)
“The goal is to eat more plants. And if you cut out the animals and eat more plants and you be active and you cut out simple sugars and you don’t smoke, you’re going to do okay. I always tell patients, your genes are what your genes are. I have rheumatoid arthritis because my genes had that. But what triggers those genes and what makes those genes activate, you can control. And also remember we have what we have, but it’s how we respond to it, right? And so changing your lifestyle now at this moment, at 50 or at 20 or at 70, it’s never too late. Just go do it.” – Dr. Monica Aggarwal
T. Colin Campbell, PhD
T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. has been dedicated to the science of human health for more than 60 years. His primary focus is on the association between diet and disease, particularly cancer. Although largely known for the China Study–one of the most comprehensive studies of health and nutrition ever conducted and recognized by The New York Times as the “Grand Prix of epidemiology”–Dr. Campbell’s profound impact also includes extensive involvement in education, public policy, and laboratory research.
T. Colin Campbell completed his education at Cornell University (M.S., Ph.D.) and MIT (Research Associate) in nutrition, biochemistry, and toxicology. He then spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before returning to Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair as the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences. (Source: NutitionStudies.org)
“Furthermore, a pattern was beginning to emerge: nutrients from animal-based foods increased tumor development while nutrients from plant-based foods decreased tumor development.” –
Dr. Kim A. Williams, MD
Kim Allan Williams Sr, MD, MACC, FAHA, FASNC. He serves as the Chief of the Division of Cardiology and is the James B. Herrick Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center. He served as President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC, 2015-2016), Chairman of the Board of the Association of Black Cardiologists (ABC, 2008-2010), President of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC, 2004-2005), and is an ACC delegate to the American Medical Association (AMA). (Source: HHPROnline.org)
“There are two kinds of cardiologists: vegans, and those who haven’t read the data.” – Dr. Kim A Williams
Dr. John A. McDougall, MD
John McDougall, MD, is a physician, speaker, and best-selling author who teaches the importance of whole food, starch-based diet in order to halt, reverse and heal chronic disease. He is a board-certified internist, author of 13 national best-selling books, and co-founder of the McDougall Program. He has dedicated over 50 years of his life to caring for people with diet and lifestyle medicine.
Dr. McDougall is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
“People feel poorly because they are nourished by foods you wouldn’t feed to your dog and cat. The rich western diet is full of fat, sugar, cholesterol, salt, animal protein – all the wrong foods for people.” – John A. McDougall, MD
Dr. Dean Ornish, MD
Dean Ornish, MD, is the founder and president of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif.
He is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Ornish received his medical training in internal medicine from the Baylor College of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the Massachusetts General Hospital. He received a BA in humanities summa cum laude from the University of Texas in Austin, where he gave the baccalaureate address. (Source: WebMD.com)
“Your genes are not your fate… if you change your lifestyle, you change your genes”. – Dean Ornish, MD
Dr. Garth Davis, MD
Garth Davis, MD, FACS, FASMBS, is a board-certified bariatric surgeon and obesity medicine specialist physician in Houston, Texas. For more than 20 years, Dr. Davis has specialized in bariatric and general surgery and has performed thousands of weight loss surgeries. He is currently working at Houston Methodist West and Houston Methodist Downtown and serves as the Medical Director for the system’s Clinic For Chronic Metabolic Disease.
After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas in Austin, Dr. Davis went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he graduated with high honors and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. Dr. Davis completed his surgical residency at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor where he served as administrative Chief Resident.
“After years of intense research, I could come to only one conclusion: People whose diets are high in animal protein have significantly higher rates of chronic diseases: hypertension, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and many, many others, including cataracts, diverticulitis, diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease, gall bladder disorders, gout, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney stones, and rheumatoid arthritis.” – Garth Davis, MD
Dr. Brooke Goldner, MD
Dr. Brooke Goldner is a board-certified physician, the founder of GoodbyeLupus.com and creator of the Hyper-nourishing Nutrition Protocol for Lupus Reversal, and the author of 3 bestselling books, Goodbye Lupus, Goodbye Autoimmune Disease, and Green Smoothie Recipes to Kick-Start Your Health and Healing.
She graduated Carnegie Mellon University with honors for genetic research in leukemia and neurobiology, was a graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine, was Chief Resident at UCLA-Harbor Residency, and holds a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University. (Source: GoodbyeLupus.com)
“Our diet is the major culprit to what causes inflammation in our bodies and disease. Believe it or not, genetics only account for roughly three to 5 percent of inflammation and disease.” – Dr. Brooke Goldner, MD
Doug Lisle, PhD
Doug Lisle, PhD, is the staff psychologist and director of research for TrueNorth Health Center and psychologist and speaker for the McDougall Wellness Program. Dr. Lisle has published numerous articles in the scientific literature and is co-author of The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health & Happiness.
Dr. Lisle is a graduate of the University of California at San Diego (Summa Cum Laude). He received the President’s Fellowship and was a Dupont Scholar at the University of Virginia where he completed his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. He was then appointed Lecturer in Psychology at Stanford University and was on the staff at the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto, California. (Source: HealthPromoting.com)
“Nearly all weight problems are resolvable through the adoption of a diet derived from fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. If you are currently overweight, it is not necessary to utilize restraint on portion size, only on portion content.” – Doug Lisle, PhD
Dr. Robert Ostfeld, MD
Cardiologist Robert Ostfeld, MD, MSc is the founder and director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, where he encourages patients to embrace a whole-foods, plant-based diet.
He earned his MD at Yale and his MSc in epidemiology at Harvard, and he is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.(Source: ForksOverKnives.com)
“I’ve never seen anything come close to the breadth and depth of benefits a plant-based diet provides. We have patients literally crying tears of joy in our office because they feel so much better after adopting this diet. No one ever cries when I write them a prescription for cholesterol-lowering medication.” – Dr. Robert Ostfeld, MD
Dr. Angie Sadeghi, MD
Dr. Angie Sadeghi is a board-certified gastroenterologist. Dr. Angie uses her traditional medical training with a focus on a plant-based diet to advise her patients, promoting a practical and balanced approach to health. Combining evidence-based medicine, her expertise in the digestive system, and her passion for physical fitness and nutrition, Dr. Angie has developed a comprehensive approach to helping patients live a healthy life. Dr. Angie is passionate about disease prevention.
Dr. Sadeghi received her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine. She has extensive training from the University of Southern California (USC),
“When I die, I want to leave a legacy of a plant-based doctor who actually cared about the health of her patients, and treated underlying disease with nutrition rather than pharmaceuticals.” – Dr. Angie Sadeghi
Dr. Joel Kahn, MD
Dr. Kahn achieved a Bachelor of Science with highest honors in 1980 from the University of Michigan and a Medical Degree in 1983 from the University of Michigan with designation as Summa Cum Laude. He is the founder of the Kahn Center for Cardiac Longevity in Bingham Farms and Grosse Pointe Farms, MI.
One of the world’s top cardiologists, Dr. Joel Kahn has treated thousands of acute heart attacks during his career. He’d like all that to stop. He’d like to prevent ALL future heart attacks by breaking through to the public to educate and inspire a new holistic lifestyle. Now is the time to focus on educating the public to eat clean, sweat clean, and apply cutting-edge science to their lifestyle. (Source: DrJoelKahn.com)
“There’s no decision you can make that is as powerful for your health and as supported by medical research as giving up animal foods and learning to replace them with enjoyable and healthy plant-based substitutes.” – Dr. Joel Kahn, MD
Dr. Danielle Belardo, MD
Specializing in preventative cardiology Dr. Belardo treats a wide variety of cardiovascular disease utilizing guideline-directed medical and procedural therapy where indicated, with a heavy emphasis on lifestyle modification and plant-based nutrition, to prevent and reverse disease when possible! She sees patients with a spectrum of cardiovascular disease, including but not limited to lipid disorders/high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease, heart failure, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, and valvular disorders.
Dr. Belardo earned her medical degree (MD) from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2014, then completed her 3-year Internal Medicine Residency at Temple University Hospital where she became board certified in Internal Medicine in 2017. From 2017 to 2020, she completed Cardiovascular Disease Fellowship at Lankenau Heart Institute, a few miles outside of Philadelphia on the main line in Pennsylvania. (Sourcc: IOPBM.com)
“The average U.S. medical student has only 19 hours of nutrition education over four years. As a cardiology fellow, I was required to perform a minimum of 100 catherizations, but there is zero requirement for nutrition. Why are we preventing the leaks instead of plugging the holes?” – Dr. Danielle Belardo
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