Elizabeth Pegg Frates, MD (Beth) is a pioneer in lifestyle medicine education, and an award-winning teacher at Harvard Medical School as well as Harvard Extension School. She currently practices lifestyle medicine through her health and wellness coaching company, Wellness Synergy, LLC.
Beth graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, majoring in both psychology and biology. She then attended Stanford Medical School, interned at Massachusetts General Hospital, and completed her residency in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, where she served as chief resident.
After residency, Beth focused on stroke and specifically stroke prevention. After co-authoring a book titled Life After Stroke: The Guide to Recovering Your Health and Preventing Another Stroke, Beth spent a great deal of time lecturing and writing about health and prevention topics, including nutrition and exercise. Fascinated by how to empower people to adopt healthy habits, Beth pursued further training in behavior change through coaching programs and motivational interviewing courses. Beth has co-authored papers and book chapters on behavior change.
In 2008, Beth developed the concept of a lifestyle medicine interest group (LMIG) and has been successfully running one at Harvard Medical School since that time. These LMIGs offer a parallel curriculum for students interested in healthy habits to learn about basic concepts in lifestyle medicine through “lunch and learn” lectures. As board liaison for the Professionals In Training (PiT) program at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), Beth has created standardized PowerPoints on Lifestyle Medicine Basics, Exercise Prescription, Nutrition, and Behavior Change for faculty and students wanting to launch their own LMIG at their school. These are available on the ACLM website.
Since 1996, Beth has been on faculty at Harvard Medical School and has won multiple teaching awards for her work in many different pre-clinical core courses including nutrition, musculoskeletal system, central nervous system, endocrine system, and introduction to the professions. She is an assistant professor (part-time) at the Harvard department of physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Most recently, Beth created an entire college curriculum on lifestyle medicine for a Harvard Extension School undergraduate and graduate-level course, which many physicians and pre-meds have taken each year. This is the first full-semester lifestyle medicine course offered at Harvard University. Beth received an award for her teaching in this course as well, and the course was chosen as a case study for successful courses at the Harvard Extension School.
Merging her training in physical medicine and rehabilitation with her training in lifestyle medicine and coaching, Beth has developed novel wellness programs for stroke survivors and their caregivers based on lifestyle medicine principles (nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, connection). Currently, Beth serves as the director of wellness programming at the Stroke Institute for Research and Recovery at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate.
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