Dr. Evans and the Evolution of the Institute for Lifestyle and Preventive Medicine
Dr. Evans received his medical degree at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada in 1984. Prior to going to medical school, he also received a master’s and PhD in medical physiology. He spent 13 years in academic medicine where he taught medical physiology (how the body works normally) to medical students. He also researched reproductive and metabolic physiology. During this time, he published 16 research studies in peer reviewed basic science journals and contributed to three published books. He practiced standard medical care for eight years in Canada and has been in Texas since 1993.
Frustrated with standard of care where the emphasis is on treating diseases and not the health of the patient, he finished hundreds of hours of additional training in advanced physiology and integrative medicine.
Good medicine is based on proven science which is driven and open to new paradigms. Our knowledge of how the human body works doubles every three years. It is often hard to keep up with this rate of change, especially if a physician is relying on drug representatives to educate them. The broader concepts of health promotion and the prevention of illness are paramount. In addition to addressing and handling patients’ immediate health problem(s) as well as the deeper causes of disease, integrative medicine strategies focus on prevention fostering the development of healthy behaviors and skills for effective self-care, which patients can use throughout their lives. In 2015, Integrative Medicine became acknowledged as a legitimate specialty by The American Board of Specialties, and Dr. Evans was in the forefront of that movement.
Around the same time, a new movement grew in momentum, which complemented the Integrative Medicine personalized medicine paradigm. This movement was also recognized (as of 2017) by the American Board of Specialties and is known as Lifestyle Medicine. Just as was the case with Integrative Medicine, Dr. Evans became board certified the first year the American Board recognized Lifestyle Medicine as a legitimate medical specialty. As defined by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, “Lifestyle Medicine is an evidenced-based approach to lifestyle therapy for chronic illnesses, which includes a healthy diet consisting mainly of whole, plant-based foods, physical activity, adequate sleep duration, quality stress management, and tobacco cessation along with other non-drug modalities to prevent, treat, and, many times, reverse chronic disease.” These simple maneuvers have been shown to cut healthcare costs by more than 60% and add up to 13 years of life. A common phrase used by Lifestyle practitioners is, “We add life to your years and years to your life.”
Dr. Evans is now one of the few physicians who is board certified in both Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, which affords a unique blend of therapeutic and preventive platforms. This, coupled with his strong bond to the scientific method and the principals of physiology, places him in a unique position in a new paradigm of healthcare delivery that more and more informed patients are insisting upon. He likes to refer to himself as a physiologist with a medical degree who feels compelled to fix problems and then take patients off medicine rather than treat disease and keep adding medicine. The Institute for Lifestyle and Preventive Medicine (The Institute) is based upon this paradigm shift, and we strive to continue our search for knowledge to remain The Institute where “state of the art” medicine is practiced for health promotion in addition to standard of care medicine for disease treatment.
We are constantly reassessing what we do and how we do it, so everyone entering our programs are anonymously placed in our pool of statistics for internal research purposes only. We also have affiliations with universities and are investigating the impact of lifestyle intervention on disease prevention. We have a special interest in the impact sleep apnea has on our metabolism. We hope to publish these studies soon.