From: Howard Jacobson <>
Subject: How to convert cardiology to a lifestyle practice with Shane Williams, MD: PYP 378

Meshing evidence with economics in one of the bastions of Big Medicine

This week's Plant Yourself interview features Shane Williams, MD: 

Dr Williams has been practicing plant-based (or as I would say, evidence-based) cardiology in Canada for nine years now.

With hundreds of patients and lots of experience with what works and what doesn't in terms of advocacy, education, and support, Dr Williams is a valuable resource for plant-based physicians everywhere.

He began his cardiology practice in 2006, and stumbled across The China Study in early 2011, and immediately shifted his own diet to put it to the test. A bunch of pounds and a 20% cholesterol drop in just a few weeks, later, Dr Williams was a convert, and began talking to his patients about diet and lifestyle.

Prior to his "conversion," his conversation with patients about diet might consist of a few tepid recommendations that were in line with the Canadian Food Guide; basically, skinless chicken and full-fat dairy.

And no wonder - in his cardiology training, Dr Williams recalled, they talked briefly about Dean Ornish's work, and dismissed it: "Yeah, this way of eating might help, but it's such an extreme and intolerable diet that nobody can stick with it. Now let's move on to drugs and procedures."

Dr Williams didn't find the new whole food, plant-based diet onerous at all; to the contrary, not only was he feeling great, losing weight, and improving his biomarkers, but his urge to snack between meals had just about vanished as well. Eating this way proved easier than his prior diet.

One week after he decided, "I need to make a documentary to share this evidence with the world," Forks Over Knives was released. He thinks of it as "the documentary I didn't have to make," and has used it as a learning tool to introduce new patients to the plant-based treatment of heart disease.=

In our conversation, Dr Williams and I talk about the evidence for a plant-based diet to treat cardiovascular disease, and the increasingly robust evidence suggesting that the cardiology industry performs way too many angioplasties and bypass surgeries.

We discussed the evolving educational and support elements of his cardiology practice, and how he's innovating to create a money-making treatment model that doesn't rely on unnecessary, expensive, and dangerous procedures to sustain itself.

Listen, and check out the show notes at