Dr. Ali Zentner: Shedding light on a misunderstood challenge

Why she won
For the past 20 years, Vancouver-based internist Dr. Ali Zentner has focused on metabolic medicine and obesity. In 2012, she opened the Revolution Medical Clinic: a multidisciplinary obesity clinic run solely through the public system, staffed by three other internal medicine specialists, an anesthetist, a dietician, nurses and support staff. It currently serves more than 5,000 patients, offering several programs, including bariatric conditioning for people wanting bariatric surgery.

The clinic has also trained more than 350 physicians in obesity medicine, has 20 to 30 medical trainees per year and runs a peer support/mentorship program for primary care physicians to learn about obesity medicine. The clinic also operates a “Get to Surgery” program for patients awaiting joint replacement, offering evidence-based treatments to improve patients’ metabolic parameters and treat their obesity while waiting for surgery.

“We offer comprehensive obesity treatment for a population of patients who have otherwise been told that this was ‘all their fault,’” Dr. Zentner said. “We are the clinic where evidence and empathy meet. I believe we have left our mark on changing the culture of weight bias in medicine.”