Weighty conversations

Helping patients overcome obesity: A CME update

Obesity is an endocrine-related disease, not a matter of willpower.


Weight loss is recommended for 65 percent of Americans, yet even DOs focused on prevention and partnering with patients are sometimes reluctant to raise the topic of obesity.

The tenets of osteopathic medicine put DOs in the perfect position to tackle obesity in America, says Christopher D. Still, DO, director of the Geisinger Obesity Institute. Dr. Still shares his expertise in the new AOA on-demand CME program “Leveraging the Principles of Osteopathic Medicine: Advancements in the Management of Obesity,” available for one category 1-B credit.

‘Not a willpower issue’

“It’s important to recognize that obesity is an endocrine-related disease, not a willpower issue,” Dr. Still noted. “No state has an obesity prevalence of less than 20 percent. This is truly an epidemic in the United States today, and we as osteopathic physicians have an opportunity to engage some of the 65 million patients who are overweight and obese.”

Obesity is a complex disease that requires a multidisciplinary approach. Patient response to treatment varies significantly, and studies show the best weight loss outcomes occur with frequent face-to-face visits. CMS compensates physicians for obesity treatment for patients with a BMI over 30, Dr. Still noted, and will cover up to 15 visits per year.

Learn more about treating obesity

The obesity webcast is recommended for primary care physicians and specialists with significant numbers of overweight patients. Participants can expect to learn how to do the following:

• Apply the four tenets of osteopathic medicine to the management of obesity.
• Explain the relationship between being obese and the risk of chronic disease.
• Employ accurate assessment and appropriate management of obesity, including pharmacotherapy and non-pharmacologic therapy.
• Formulate a comprehensive, multidisciplinary strategy for weight management.

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