Beth Frates

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Lifestyle Medicine physician, trained as a physiatrist, certified health and wellness coach, teacher at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Extension School, Beth works to help people adopt healthy habits for a lifetime.

Since her own father's heart attack and stroke in 1986, when she was 18, Beth has been actively researching what it means to be healthy.  At the start of her lifestyle medicine journey, she performed research on stress and the heart, the role of CCK on satiety, the effect of buspiron on hostility in cardiac patients, the role of NO in vascular dilatation, and gait analysis.

More recently, she investigated the level of stroke survivor and caregiver knowledge after their rehab hospital stay. Identifying a clear gap in knowledge, Beth tried to fill it with a book.  She co-authored, Life After Stroke: The Guide to Recovering your Health and Preventing Another Stroke, Johns Hopkins Press. This writing experience allowed her to dive deeply into exercise and nutrition as therapeutic interventions.  

A research project that has helped guide her career was one she participated in during her residency at the Harvard Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. In this research, she and colleagues surveyed physician on their personal exercise behavior and their exercise counseling behavior, which was published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine in 2000. This work revealed that physician who exercise, counsel on exercise.  This study continues to be cited and replicated, reinforcing the need to educate and motivate physicians to embrace exercise as medicine for themselves and their patients. At the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine, Beth co-developed and helped direct the HSM CME course, Active Lives, teaching physicians about the power of exercise. She wrote the online HMS CME titled Exercise Prescription.  In addition she co-developed and co-directs the HMS CME Tools for Promoting Healthy Change.

Introducing and teaching coaching concepts at Harvard Medical School to first and second year students has been a rewarding project for Beth for 8 years.  She started and still runs the Lifestyle Medicine Interest Group at Harvard Medical School.  Now helping this lifestyle medicine effort nationally, Beth serves as the Board Liaison for the Physicians in Training committee at the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.  In addition, Beth teaches at the Harvard Extension School, Psych E 1037 Introduction to Lifestyle Medicine.  Teaching is a passion for Beth and she has been involved in teaching at HMS since 1999.  Over that time, she has received many teaching awards and most recently received an award for her teaching at the Harvard Extension School. 

Beth has her own health and wellness coaching company called Wellness Synergy (www.wellness-synergy.com).  She sees clients 1:1 and in groups.  In addition, she consults for companies and organizations interested in health and wellness, lifestyle medicine, and behavior change. 

Merging her physical medicine and rehabilitation training with her wellness coaching, Dr. Frates has launched wellness groups for stroke survivors at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. Currently, she is the Director of Wellness Programming at Spaulding and is running a 12-month lifestyle medicine program for stroke survivors and their loved ones.

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