The Future of Obesity Medicine in Primary Care: A Conversation with Lee Kaplan, MD, PhD

Primary care leadership is essential to the future of obesity medicine, says Kaplan, but treatment needs to be within the normal scope of primary care practice. Hear him explain.

“As we think about the future of obesity treatment, there's no question that the size of the problem requires the leadership from the primary care community—but the way we treat it has to be within the normal scope of primary care practice,” said Lee Kaplan, MD, PhD, in an interview with Patient Care Online during ObesityWeek 2021.

Kaplan, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the obesity metabolism and nutrition Institute, and the obesity medicine fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, is renowned for his work on the causes and complications of obesity as well as on new and more effective treatments for the disease.

In this interview on the future of treatment for obesity in primary care he explains that while it is just a matter of time and familiarity for use of pharmacotherapy for obesity to become routine among frontline providers, all progress now in effective weight management is predicated on broad and shared understanding that obesity is a disease, a disruption of normal physiology and autonomic regulation.

Learn more in our 10-minute conversation.


Lee M. Kaplan, MD, PhD, is associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of both the Obesity, Metabolism & Nutrition Institute and the Obesity Medicine Fellowship Program at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the chair of the US Obesity Medicine Fellowship Council, Director of the Blackburn Course in Obesity Medicine, and a past president of The Obesity Society.