Scott Stoll on Disrupting Healthcare with Plants: PYP 244

Scott Stoll, MD, understands the power of Believing You Can.

Which is a good thing, because he's made his life mission a task that would seem daunting to most: to transform the healthcare industry into one that actually practices health care rather than disease management and mitigation.

Scott is, among many other things, co-founder of The Plantrician Project, which has a vision statement so beautiful that I'm stealing it wholesale from their website:

“A nation—and world—in which the vast majority of physicians and healthcare professionals have experienced the dietary paradigm shift, enthusiastically embracing the health-protecting power of plant-based nutrition; in turn, effectively promoting patient and client adoption of a predominantly whole food, plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle.

“The result: Sustainability of human health and the healthcare system, while producing meaningful progress toward the big picture of global sustainability.”

The Plantrician Project conferences are now legendary in the plant-based and lifestyle medicine worlds, introducing hundreds of physicians to the New Science of Wellness and bringing together cutting edge innovators of practice models that can replace the old “ill and pill” paradigm while leading to healthier patients and happier practitioners.

Scott tested his theory of positive intention when he tried out for the US Bobsled team never having been on a bobsled before. He made the team and participated in the 1994 Winter Olympics. (Sadly, he doesn't have a Jamaican accent…)

When he became a physician, he quickly discovered that his medical toolbox didn't address the root causes of his patients' diseases. Rather than shrug his shoulders and simply resign himself to the daily grind of prescribed pills and procedures, Scott got curious about the underlying dynamics that were eroding the joy and juice from their lives.

When he discovered plant-based nutrition from his wife, he abandoned his meat and milk (which he had been taught were necessary for Olympic-sized muscles), and saw the astounding improvement in his own health and experience of life. After that, it was off to the races with his patients.

The profound transformations they underwent were all the proof Scott needed that he was on to something, and the medical world needed to learn about it.

In our conversation, we covered Scott's evolving medical understanding, and how his mission has unfolded, and what's in the works. We discussed:

  • what patients mean when they say, “I'm falling apart”
  • Atkins to Zone focus solely on weight loss, not health
  • chronic illness causes social, economic, and interpersonal problems
  • observing Joel Fuhrman's practice and seeing patients actually get better
  • how doctors inadvertently cause their patients to lose hope
  • why it's critical for doctors to speak with belief, conviction, and hope
  • teaching patients to change lifelong habits
  • the big teaching mistake: information is enough
  • the importance of creating and sustaining community
  • developing health immersions for Whole Foods Market
  • Tom Dunnam's vision of a medical education and practice revolution
  • growing the Plantrician Project
  • plant-based medicine as a disruptive technology
  • insurance companies that make more money from disease than wellness
  • Milan Ross's transformative immersion – releasing an emotional burden first, 300 pounds second
  • partnering with the Rodale Institute to put the plant-based plate at the center of global healing and regenerative agriculture
  • why everyone should “grow something”
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


The Plantrician Project

The Plant-based Nutrition Healthcare Conference

The Change Immersions

The Change – by Milan Ross and Scott Stoll, MD

The Change Cookbook – by Milan Ross and Scott Stoll, MD

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Jaymie Friesen of Natural Vegan Products emailed me with a pitch to be a guest on the podcast. Normally I'm reticent when people reach out to me (I like to discover stuff myself). And especially when there's commerce involved. But Jaymie sent me some very nice product (have you noticed that I've been grooming myself more regularly lately? No, I guess you wouldn't have noticed… ;), and told me about his big vision for the company. I liked all of it.

And then he sent me a video of their head of PR, Crowley the Pig, which just melted my heart. So I agreed to a podcast interview, and to let you know about their kickstarter campaign:

Check it out, and stay tuned for our interview (probably coming in February or March…)

Ready to embark on your Big Change journey?

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


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2 Responses to “Scott Stoll on Disrupting Healthcare with Plants: PYP 244”

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  1. Greg Litus says:

    Dr. Jacobson,

    Your recent interview with Dr. Scott Stoll initiated an email that I sent directly to him. I always cc everyone mentioned in an email and thought you might find the content interesting. Thanks for all you do.


    Dr. Stoll,

    It was a pleasure listening to you and Howard Jacobson on the recent Plant Yourself podcast. Your work is quite inspiring and your collaboration with Rodale is especially interesting. I manage the Western Colorado Research Center (WCRC), a part of the Colorado State University College of Agriculture. Two years ago Rodale contacted CSU about initiating a partnership at our, then idle, Rogers Mesa Research Station. At that time, Rodale was fundamentally focused on animals being a critical component of any organic farming system. For a number or reasons, that partnership was never developed. Last year I focused some of our research center resources at the Orchard Mesa Research Station to start the Community Alliance for Education and Hunger Relief. This video link summarizes the program nicely.

    The Community Alliance has a number or facets that are directly aligned with your initiative with Rodale. We grow healthy fruit and vegetables and provide them to a segment of our society that is chronically underserved. By incorporating a robust program with children and families involved, we hope to make a substantive impact on hunger and at the same time initiate the education that leads to healthy food choices. One component of the program that is not publicized is the stock-free nature of all our fruit and vegetable production. The term stock-free is accurate because we do not use animal inputs but rely on some conventional fertility needs rather than be strictly organic. I am convinced that there is an ongoing convergence of conventional and organic philosophies that can lead to the efficient agriculture production systems that are needed for 21st century agriculture. Further, there is absolutely no doubt that stock free agriculture is the best method for feeding the world while respecting all the other life that shares this planet.

    This year we have yet another initiative. The WCRC has opened the Rogers Mesa Research Station and committed to focusing all research at that station on certified organic agriculture. Rogers Mesa is destined to be one of the premier organic research stations in the country. Although having a veganic research station would be the ideal, I will not be able to guide all the research at Rogers Mesa in that direction. That brings me to the point of this email. Your work with Rodale using veganic systems to support healthy food choices parallels the work I have started in western Colorado. The programs at WCRC are substantive and provide a basis for collaborative work with the partnership you are developing with Rodale. Your career focus on plant-based diets to heal your patients and reduce our impacts on the planet reflects my own desire to work within agriculture and incrementally alter the meat-centric philosophy that permeates all land-grant institutions in this country. Any possibility of exchanging ideas or partnering to accelerate that change is rejuvenating and I would honor the opportunity to speak with you. If this sounds interesting, please feel free to contact me at your convenience. Thank you.

    Greg Litus

    Colorado State University
    Western Colorado Research Center
    3168 B ½ Road
    Grand junction, CO 81503

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