General Practitioners: McDougall, Fuhrman & Greger
11 Jun 2017
Broadly speaking, three kinds of doctors advocate plant based diets:
  1. Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn approach the subject from the perspective of heart diseas: Is 0% Heart Disease Possible? Yes.
  2. Neal Barnard focuses on diabetes: Can Diabetes Be Reversed? Yeah!
  3. General practitioners like Michael Greger, John McDougall and Joel Fuhrman talk about a broad spectrum of diseases, including gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders.
Dr Joel Fuhrman

Dr Joel Fuhrman is a general practitioner who does not focus on any one specific disease. The preface to one of his books, Eat for Health (453 pages, 2012), says:

This book is dedicated to all Americans suffering with chronic disease, who were told their problem was simply genetic and that drugs and interventions such as angioplasty and bypass surgery are the only answer.

Even though it is well accepted in the scientific literature that nutritional excellence has powerful therapeutic application, this information has not filtered down to the average American.

People need to know they have a choice. They have a right to know they do not have to suffer and die prematurely of medical conditions that are easily prevented and reversed via nutritional excellence.

So if you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, reflux esophagitis, chronic headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, autoimmune disorders or other chronic medical conditions and you desire improved health, vitality and to free yourself of medical dependency, this book is especially dedicated to you with the hope it will transform your health.

In the same book, on pages 29—35, Fuhrman concedes that even though the science underlying the individual guidelines in his diet is well established, there are no medical studies or randomized controlled trials specifically for his diet, which is a combination of many such guidelines. In contrast, studies on diets (a combination of guidelines) by Dean Ornish, Caldwell Esselstyn and Neal Barnard have been published in peer reviewed scientific literature. So it is largely from his 20+ years of experience in curing patients that he speaks of the efficacy of his guidelines in curing various diseases listed above.

Website: is an extensive website with Articles, each one of which cites medical studies on the basis of which he makes his claims. He also has an online forum, a paid service, with different levels of membership. The forum provides community support and online exchanges with Dr Fuhrman himself.

Books: Joel Fuhrman's most popular book is Eat to Live (400 pages, 2011), which was on the New York Times bestsellers list in 2011 — 2012. He has also been featured on Dr Oz. Among doctors who advocate plant based diets, Joel Fuhrman is the only one who has a book specifically for children: Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right (288 pages, 2006). In addition, he's the only one with a book on fasting: Fasting and Eating for Health (1995, 255 pages). He has written several other books: see List of Books by Joel Fuhrman (Amazon).

Videos: Playlist on YouTube.

Movies: Joel Fuhrman is the doctor who cured Joe Cross, an Australian business who made an inspiring documentary showcasing his personal journey: Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (98 mins, 2010). US residents may watch the documentary for free at Hulu or at Reboot Your Life website.

Audio: Joel Fuhrman's talk shows (free mp3's) are quite informative.

Dr John McDougall

Dr John McDougall is a general practitioner who treats patients with a variety of ailments. He runs a clinic in Santa Rosa.

The most famous personality whom Dr McDougall influenced was Carl Lewis, the track and field athlete who won 9 Olympic gold medals.

Diet: Free McDougall Program.

Videos: John McDougall has several hour long lectures given at different conferences: Diet, Drugs and Diabetes — One Hundred Years of Missed Opportunities at the Advanced Study Weekend, September, 2011, in Santa Rosa, CA. The Starch Solution (Healthy Lifestyle Expo, 2010). See YouTube Channel by John McDougall on YouTube for more videos.

Books: List of Books by John McDougall (Amazon).

Dr Michael Greger

Dr Michael Greger is a general practitioner who has written an excellent book: How Not to Die (576 pages, 2015). What is unique about Dr Greger's book, videos and talks is that he recounts study after study to illustrate his point.

Dr Greger maintains Nutrition Facts, a non-profit whose mission is to illumine the world with information about healthy eating habits.

Dr Greger's on-stage mannerisms are rather funny, which makes his videos charming. Check out this 54-minute talk: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food (Aug 2014).

© Copyright 2008—2018, Gurmeet Manku.