Interview with Robert Graham, M.D., Co-Founder FRESH Med NYC

by Alexina Cather, MPH

Robert E. Graham, M.D., MPH, ABOIM, FACP, Chef in training. Board Certified in Internal & Integrative Medicine, Co-Founder FRESH Med NYC

Dr. Robert Graham is a Harvard trained physician who is Board Certified in both Internal and Integrative Medicine. He received his medical degree from the School of Medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center, Stony Brook, NY and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, where he received the Community Service Award and the prestigious “Attending of the Year” award. Additionally, Dr. Graham holds a Master of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.

He is widely recognized as a national leader in the fields of Complementary and Alternative/Integrative Medicine, Nutrition, Urban Farming, Health Disparities and Cultural Competency and has spoken extensively about his research endeavors throughout the U.S.

Dr. Graham has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, NY Post, Health Day, Prevention, Yahoo News, Huffington Post, Daily News, NY Times, Newsday and Yahoo News. He has appeared on the NBC Today Show, Fox 5 News, ABC Eyewitness News, CBS News, NY1 and presented at TedXManhattan.

In 2016, he started FRESH Med, an integrative health and wellness center at PhysiologicNYC, where he currently sees patients. Dr. Graham believes that healthcare needs a FRESH approach to health– a paradigm shift, from the conventional approach of “a pill for an ill” to one that “addresses the root cause of disease.”

Where you grew up: Jackson Heights, Queens, NY

Where you live now: Manhattan, NY

Background and education: From Hillcrest to Harvard. NYC public school educated at Hillcrest High School to Harvard Medical School trained Board Certified Physician in Internal and Integrative Medicine, Masters of Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health and Chef in Training at The Natural Gourmet Institute

Food policy/food as medicine hero: Most recent heroes – Annmarie Colbin and Dan Barber

One word to describe our food system: Sick

One word to describe our healthcare system: Sicker

Your favorite food: Rice and Beans

Your breakfast this morning: Organic steel cut oats, bananas, crushed walnuts with a touch of organic maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Your last meal on earth: Pizza

Must-have healing food/ingredient: Dark leafy greens

Food policy, health, food as medicine book, website(s) social media/blog must-follow/read:,,, Book: Food and Healing by Annmarie Colbin, Civil Eats,

Your elevator pitch for food as medicine? We need to put a “food first” approach into our healthcare model.

Which widespread nutritional misconceptions worry you the most? It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as calories in equals calories out.

What do you see as the next step for food as medicine? Multidisciplinary education integrating the culinary arts with medicine, nutrition and public health. Research into the question, can food be medicine in clinical trials. Clinical integration of food as medicine, via cooking with patients, meal kits and meal plans designed for specific health conditions.

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