Team Blog > Laura Freeman

GP & Lifestyle Medicine Physician

Dr Laura Freeman obtained her Medical Degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2006. She completed her vocational training in General Practice in Manchester in 2011. Between May 2012 and May 2019, after attaining full accreditation from the Medical Council of Canada, Dr Freeman ran her own Family Medicine practice in midtown Toronto, taught medical students at the University of Toronto and worked with the MedicalCouncil of Canada as an examiner for International Medical Graduates.

Both within and outside of her General Practice, Dr Freeman has developed a strong interest for plant based nutrition and optimising health through lifestyle choices. In 2019, Dr Freeman became a diplomat of the International Board for Lifestyle Medicine. In her position as Medical Director, she leads a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals in a first of its kind, online plant-based healthcare service.

Her focus is putting her passion in Lifestyle Medicine into practice for her patients and watching the incredible success of their lifestyle interventions.

Dr Freeman has been commended by her colleagues and patients alike for her unwavering calm and kind demeanour, her compassion and care for her patients as well as her sound clinical knowledge, skill and judgment. Her patients have endorsed her input for optimising their diet, prescribing individualised exercise prescriptions, stress management and improving sleep habits.

Dr Laura Freeman is certified as a CHIP (Complete Health Improvement Program) Practitioner. She is also on the advisory board for Plant-based health professionals UK and is a course tutor for the UK’s first ever online plant-based nutrition course at Winchester University. She runs regular health workshops and ‘Walk with a Doc’ walking groups in her community.

I got glasses at a young age of 18 months and can always remember being fascinated by the posters of eyes and retinas on the wall of my opticians – who was a family friend. He encouraged my interest and early on in secondary school I made the decision to be an Ophthalmologist and spent most of my time at medical school pursuing this. When it came down to the clinical work however, I would usually faint once scrubbed up in the operating room and was told by my supervising mentor that I should choose a different speciality!

I was enjoying General Practice at that time and always loved spending time with patients, finding out about their health and their lives. But I didn’t feel like I found my calling in medicine until I discovered the emerging speciality of Lifestyle Medicine.

This came a year or so after my own health changed and as a doctor, I became a patient with a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. I had a lump in my neck which was discovered by my very thorough Obstetrician and this turned the tables for me in my personal and professional life. Prior to my surgery to have my thyroid removed, I had blood work which confirmed that I had extremely high cholesterol. This came as a shock because I thought I was eating a healthy diet and I have always exercised regularly. When I spent some time researching how I could reduce my cancer risk and reduce my cholesterol levels, I came across the work of the US physicians Michael Greger, Dean Ornish, and Neal Barnard. I was compelled by the evidence for a whole food plant based diet and quickly transformed my own diet.

In not too much time, my husband and I transitioned to an entirely plant based lifestyle and we have felt many benefits since. The really exciting work came though, when I took this conversation – and the evidence – into the GP consultation room and started discussing it with my patients. In a very short period, I started to see their successes – reduced cholesterol, reduced blood pressure and reduced sugar levels for example.

Now I am able to continue this work here with Plant Based Health Online and practise medicine in a way that both aligns with my personal and professional values and helps my patients in the very best way possible.

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