People frequently ask me for recommendations on where to get current information on health topics. I finally decided to list some of my favorite resources for health-related continuing education and post it on my blog. However, I’m going to start by providing a little background about how I developed my passion for learning and teaching about health. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin/Madison in 1966 with a BS degree in pharmacy. Although I had gained a great deal of knowledge about biochemistry, physiology and medicine, I eventually found the practice of retail pharmacy to be quite repetitive, boring, unchallenging and unsatisfying.
In 1979 I got introduced to yoga and it changed my life. Up until that time I consumed the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) and really didn’t know anything about health. Through yoga I met people who exercised regularly and ate healthfully. Yoga students also introduced me to health magazines, health newsletters and health-related books. I quickly developed an insatiable desire for health-related information.
My epiphany came when I realized that my degree in pharmacy gave me the ability to understand the science underlying all the new health-related information I was learning about. And ya know what….it just made sense. And, it continues to make sense. So, for the past 36+ years, I have been somewhere between passionately and neurotically pursuing a deeper and deeper understanding of all things related to health.
As my learning curve accelerated, I began teaching and write about health and natural therapies. In October 1999, I was named as one to the Top 50 Most Influential Pharmacists in America by American Druggist magazine for my educational work in natural medicine. I’ve written ten books and I am now producing online educational seminars. In 2016 I launched a 4.5 hour online seminar titled Natural Therapies for Depression & Anxiety. In Jan. 2017 I will launch Natural Therapies for ADD & ADHD.
In my Bio on my WEB site (naturalpharmacist.net) I state that one of my greatest attributes as a health educator is the fact that I am bilingual. The two languages I speak are English and Science. I am able to translate and discuss the scientific explanations for health-related topics in a way that is easily understandable to the general public.
Because many people ask me where they can get good information about health, I’ve decided to provide a list of my favorite sources of health-related continuing education resources.
1) Functional Medicine Update (FMU) is a monthly biochemistry course offered by Jeff Bland, Ph.D. I subscribed to FMU when it was first offered in 1978. Each month Dr. Bland interviews a scientist, researcher or key thought leader on relevant topics in functional medicine. FMU was originally delivered on cassette tape and then CDs. In January 2016 FMU became available online as a monthly podcast. For more information, visit jeffreybland.com & click on the FMU tab.
2) The Townsend Letter is a monthly periodical on alternative medicine. It is one of my most valued sources of continuing education. Each issue addresses a specific health topic and authors from varying health backgrounds submit articles from their perspective. There are also a number of highly respected health educators who are regular monthly contributors. For more information, go to townsendletter.com.
3) Life Extension is a monthly magazine offered by the Life Extension Foundation (LEF). The magazine always contains in depth articles on cutting edge health topics. LEF is also a great source of high-quality nutritional supplements. If you join LEF ($75/year) you get a subscription to the Life Extension magazine and 25% discount on all LEF supplements. I have been a member of the LEF Medical Advisory Board for over 20 years. For more information go to: www.lifeextension.com.
4) Health & Healing Newsletter by Julian Whitaker, MD. is the most widely read health newsletter in the world with over 500,000 subscribers. Although Health & Healing is more for the general public, I occasionally get some new information or insights from it. For more information of go to: www.drwhitaker.com.
5) Nutrition & Healing Newsletter by Jonathan Wright, MD. A good monthly newsletter for the general public but also counts many doctors among its subscribers. For more information go to: www.nutritionandhealing.com.
6) Alternatives Newsletter by David Williams is another good monthly newsletter for the general public. Dr. Williams is often years ahead of conventional medicine and his articles frequently discuss new ideas about natural healing therapies. For more information go to: www.drdavidwilliams.com.
Podcasts: In the past several years I’ve become “addicted” to listening to health podcasts while driving. The hosts usually interview interesting guests who discuss their life’s work, and/or new health-related products and technologies. Here are some of my favorites (just Google them for more information:
7) High Intensity Health Radio hosted by Mike Mutzel.
8) Revolution Health Radio hosted by Chris Kresser
9) Health Quest Podcast hosted by Steve Lankford
10) Bulletproof Radio hosted by Dave Asprey
Health & Medical Conferences: I spend a great deal of my professional life attending and speaking at various health and medical conferences. These conferences, conventions and symposiums usually have a great line up of speakers on various health topics, technologies and/or new products. Also, most of these conferences have an exhibit hall where hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of companies have a booth presenting their products. Just walking the aisles in the exhibit halls and examining the companies and their products is a great educational experience. Here are some of the conferences I attend regularly:
11) Natural Products Expo West: Expo West is held in March every year at the Anaheim Convention Center. This is the largest health show in the world. In 2015 there were over 70,000 attendees and 2,700 companies exhibiting their products.
12) Natural Products Expo East: Expo East is held in Baltimore during September every year. Expo East is the east coast “cousin” to Expo West. In 2016 Expo East had 28,000 attendees and 1,450 companies exhibiting.
13) American Association of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) hosts their World Congress every year at the Venetian/Palazzo in LasVegas. The show is attended by thousands of medical professionals and hundreds of exhibiting companies. I’ll be speaking again at the A4M conference in December 2016.
14) International & American Association of Clinical Nutrition (IAACN) is nutrition organization that offers a certification program in nutrition (Certified Clinical Nutritionist or CCN). This year’s IAACN Symposium (the 26th annual) will be held in Dallas Oct. 12-14th. I was a founding member and have been on the Scientific Advisory Board for many years.
15) The American College of Nutrition (ACN) was established in 1959. They have an annual conference in a different city every year. I attended my first ACN conference this year which was held in San Diego November 9-11th. They had great speakers and I found ACN to be a strong vibrant organization. I plan to join ACN and become involved with organization.
16) The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) I attended my first AAEM conference in 2016 and came away with a high level of respect for AAEM physicians. They have the deepest knowledge of biochemistry of any group of physicians I’ve ever met. The speakers were excellent and I admire the dedication these physicians have in working with patients with complex health problems such as Lyme’s disease, mold toxicity, multiple chemical sensitivity, etc.
17) The American College for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) is an association of integrative medicine physicians. They host an annual convention in Las Vegas each year. ACAM offers continuing medical education for physicians and they also provide a referral network of physicians who provide integrative medicine therapies.
18) Probiota Americas & International Probiotics Association (IPA) have teamed up to present one of the world’s best conferences that explores the scientific frontier of probiotics. I attended in 2015 and 2016 and I presented a Poster on Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 at the 2016 conference.
To health and happiness. Warm regards, Ross