What are Dr. Purdy’s qualifications? Is she a nutritionist? A naturopath?
Dr. Purdy is not a nutritionist or a naturopath. Dr. Purdy is a family physician with a Medical Degree. She is a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO). She is a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). She is board-certified in Lifestyle Medicine with the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine (ABLM). She has a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell.
What conditions may be prevented, treated, and/or sometimes reversed by Lifestyle Medicine?
The following list is long but not exhaustive. It is important to understand that the type and strength of evidence for many of these issues may not be that robust (but in some cases it is!). However, it is also important to understand that lifestyle changes do not have negative side effects: to paraphrase one of the LM pioneers, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., speaking specifically about changing to a Whole Foods, Plant-Based way of eating: "You will lose weight, you will lose high blood pressure, you will lose your diabetes, you will feel better, you will lose your risk of a stroke, you will lose your risk for dementia... so yes, there are side effects!"
hypertension, hypercholesteremia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some mental health conditions, certain cancers (note it is always important to follow your oncologist's recommendations, but improving one's lifestyle, especially diet, can be seen as being similar to no longer throwing gas on a fire that the fire truck (oncology team) is trying to put out!), obesity, chronic pain, erectile dysfunction, macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, dementia including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, kidney problems including chronic kidney disease and stones, liver disease including fatty liver, GERD (heartburn), constipation, hemorrhoids, asthma, acne, eczema, allergies, multiple sclerosis, nicotine addiction (smoking), Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), diverticulosis, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's), psoriasis, and autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Is there a cost to be a patient at this clinic?
All medically necessary services, including visits, assessments, and individual and/or group counselling are covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Card). For information on those that are not covered by OHIP (e.g. patients from Quebec), please see here for more details.
We also accept patients with Blue Cross coverage. If you are in the CAF, you will need to be approved to see Dr. Purdy prior to your visit, in order to have your visit covered by Blue Cross.
Please note that this office does not normally complete forms. Your family doctor will complete most forms.
May I get a driver's medical or camp medical here?
Ottawa Lifestyle Medicine is focused on providing evidence-based, Lifestyle Medicine to people who are suffering from chronic disease and chronic pain, giving them the information and tools necessary to improve their health. Consequently, we will not normally complete forms.
Do you see Quebec patients, or patients from out-of-town?
Yes, patients from Quebec are required to provide proof of coverage and will be asked to pay for services at the time of the visit. Patients are encouraged to seek reimbursement from RAMQ. Patients from the Ottawa Valley and out-of-town are welcome! We belong to the OTN (Ontario Telemedicine Network) and therefore Dr. Purdy can use Telemedicine for encounters with patients "online" from across the province. This service is also covered by OHIP; please see "Information for Patients" for more information about OTN.
Do you see children?
Yes, we see children.
What should I bring to my appointment?
Please bring your OHIP, RAMQ or Blue Cross card, any recent investigations (e.g. blood work) and all medications or supplements that you are taking in their original bottles.
Are you taking patients as a family physician?
No. Dr. Purdy is a family physician practising Lifestyle Medicine, and does not have the resources to provide normal family medicine services such as acute medicine and routine preventative care (vaccinations, Pap exams, etc.). As such, she prefers that if patients have a family physician, they continue their relationship with their existing physician. She is happy to collaborate with other physicians as part of a patient care team.
Is a whole food, plant-based way of eating expensive?
No! If anything, you will save money. Animal products like meat, fish, dairy and eggs are expensive and by reducing or eliminating them, food bills drop - even if you eat much more vegetables, rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit, beans and lentils than you ever have before!
While processed "vegetarian" or "vegan" foods may be expensive, the ideal way to eat for health is to consume foods in their most natural state. Unprocessed, or largely unprocessed foods, are normally the most inexpensive but highly nutritive quality foods that we can consume.
Can I eat a WFPB diet to get rid of my health conditions and then go back to my normal way of eating?
Yes, you can choose to do this if you wish. As with all medical care, a Lifestyle Medicine approach is only for people who choose to try a different way to improve their health.
It is important to note that a Whole Food Plant-Based lifestyle is not a "diet" that one does for a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years. While eating WFPB, you may be able to treat and/or reverse many chronic diseases. In doing so, medications will likely need to be decreased, and some may need to be discontinued.
However, if you decide to revert back to the Standard American Diet (SAD), a highly processed diet that is heavy on animal products and oils, your health conditions will most likely return, and medication will need to be readjusted and/or restarted.
How long does it take to notice a difference?
It depends on the health care condition and your commitment to incorporating Lifestyle Medicine into your daily routine.
For example, a patient with Type II Diabetes who changes their way of eating may notice their blood sugars begin to lower within days to weeks. A patient with hypertension may also notice that their blood pressure begins to lower within days of changing what they eat.
What do I need to do to become a patient?
Please read through the website thoroughly, and ask yourself if you are willing to find out more about making (possibly big) changes to your lifestyle. If the answer is yes, and you either want to preserve your good health, or you would like to address some health challenges, then please contact us. Then, reread "Information for Patients," and ensure you bring your OHIP card and a list of any medications you are on, to your first visit. We look forward to working with you!