Dr. Peter McIlveen was recently featured in the Obesity Action Coalition’s national newsletter!
Peter McIlveen, MD, MBA, FACOG
Dr. Peter McIlveen is board certified in obesity medicine and is a proud OAC member. He reached out to the OAC in the new year with the hope of sharing his personal experience as an OB/GYN physician and Obesity Medicine Specialist, and the reward of supporting patients in their weight-loss journey.
Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Connecticut, but after attending Duke University for my undergraduate degree, I fell in love with the state of North Carolina and its people. In 2003 I moved my family to North Carolina, where I now live in the middle of exciting ACC basketball rivalries.
What is your profession?
Five years ago, the answer would simply have been a practicing Obstetrician/Gynecologist. Since then, however, I also became an Obesity Medicine Specialist directly involved in physician-assisted medical weight loss. I am the founder and medical director of North Carolina Weight & Wellness in Elkin, NC.
In his free time, Dr. McIlveen likes to spend time with his family and watching ACC basketball. He also enjoys celebrating with his patients as they reach their weight-loss goals. He says, "I truly feel honored to be part of their journey."
Why did you choose to become board certified in obesity medicine?
I became frustrated seeing my patients struggle with excess weight, continuing to gain weight as their health and emotional well-being suffered. My personal philosophy as a physician is to listen attentively, focusing not only on my patient’s symptoms, but also on the causes of their symptoms; obesity was clearly a significant factor preventing my patients from achieving optimal health. Their frustration and embarrassment was impossible to ignore, and prompted my interest in obesity medicine.
This interest prompted me to take courses, attend conferences, and study the specialty. Board certification then confirmed my competence, and has allowed me to collaborate with other Obesity Medicine specialists, keeping me on the forefront of the latest research so as to best treat my patients.
How did you learn about the OAC, and what motivated you to join?
I first learned about the OAC while attending an American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP, now known as OMA) conference. I was impressed by OAC’s mission as well as its focus on weight bias and advocacy.
How have you used the OAC to help you in your journey as an Obesity Medicine Specialist?
The OAC has taught me about many topics, including integrative approaches to lifestyle modification. I share many of OAC’s encouraging articles and educational information with my patients on a regular basis as part of their weight loss program. In particular I am glad to see the OAC address fat shaming. As physicians we should be more aware of the words we use. I have treated patients who were humiliated by a physician or healthcare worker who called them fat.
Why do you believe it is crucial for primary care physicians to be able to effectively treat obesity?
Primary care physicians have direct contact with individuals affected by excess weight and obesity being treated for other problems. I believe that training these physicians to effectively approach the subject of obesity and then begin treatment could make a huge impact on obesity in our society. I also believe that Obesity Medicine training should be part of every medical school curriculum.
What OAC resource or program do you find the most valuable, and why?
Your Weight Matters Magazine is a valuable tool for our patients and staff. The Weight Bias in Healthcare Guide for Healthcare Providers is an excellent tool that should be used in all medical and dental offices to train the entire staff.
If you could tell others one reason to join the OAC, what would it be?
Education in behavior and lifestyle modification is the key to success in long-term management of obesity. The OAC provides this education, making a real difference in the lives of my male and female patients struggling with obesity as well as benefiting those involved in the treatment of obesity.