In recent years, the conversation around health and wellness has taken a pivotal turn, emphasizing a more integrative approach that places exercise, nutrition, and functional medicine at its core. This all encompassing view counters the traditional healthcare model, which often prioritizes symptom management over preventive measures and lifestyle adjustments.

This enduring problem highlights a significant gap in the traditional approach to healthcare and its absence in exercise and nutrition when it comes to patient care. Unfortunately, many doctors do not adhere to basic exercise and nutrition principles, nor follow their own health advice, exemplifying the irony in a healthcare worker not being healthy. However, emerging trends in fitness and nutrition, new research, innovative treatments, along with common sense are garnering attention for enhancing patient outcomes and overall quality of life.

Within the fray of critiques and calls for reform, figures like Dr. Ivan Rusilko, have been championing radically different approaches in how they care for their patients. Specifically, Dr. Ivan Rusilko has emerged as a thought leader in the space not just because of his hyper-customizable approach to functional medicine as the Founder of Lifestyle Medicine, but because of his commitment to embodying the paradigm of health to inspire his patients to pursue their dreams by practicing what he preaches.

From the Ice Rink to Medical School to Champion Bodybuilder to Mr. USA?

Dr. Rusilko’s initial foray into the limelight wasn’t in the medical field but on the ice rink, where his hockey talent got him recruited professionally as a teenager. Opting instead for a more stable and impactful future in medicine, he pursued his medical education at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine where he was accepted out of highschool as the first student in an accelerated undergrad/medical school program. It was here where he found a new arena for his competitive spirit and physical prowess: bodybuilding. As a microcosm of his personality and a testament to his dedication, discipline, and unwavering commitment to physical excellence, the young Dr. Rusilko won the prestigious Mr. USA title not once but twice — in 2008 and 2010 taking him around the world to events like the Oscars, Formula 1 and fashion weeks.

Dr. Ivan Rusilko

These experiences not only honed his understanding of the body’s capabilities and the importance of nutrition on fitness but also propelled him onto an international stage faster than any medical achievement could have. It was during this time he developed the initial plans for what Lifestyle Medicine was soon to become, a form of medicine that focused on experiential health.

“I believe that doctors should be required to practice what they preach, which I have done since highschool and now as a forty year old I feel like I’m in better shape physically, mentally, and emotionally now than when I was traveling the world as Mr. USA. You cannot and should not take weight loss advice from a fat doctor.”

Embracing Medical Entrepreneurship

After medical school, Dr. Rusilko embarked on an entrepreneurial journey, starting his initial practice within the luxurious confines of Miami’s Four Seasons Hotel at the Miami Institute where he built their sexual health, medical fitness, and IV programs. After a year, Dr. Rusilko left and founded Club Essentia in the penthouse of the Delano where he continued to perfect the art of customized medicine. These ventures marked the beginning stages of his quest to integrate lifestyle and medicine in a manner that was both innovative, accessible and never before been done. His practice quickly evolved, gaining early traction for its specialized IV protocols, peptides, sexual health solutions, and hormone optimization. This success laid the foundation for Lifestyle Medicine, a practice that would come to embody Dr. Rusilko’s holistic philosophy on health and wellness.

“Traditional medicine is and will always be about the prolongation of death whereas Lifestyle Medicine is about the augmentation of life.”

Pioneering Lifestyle Medicine

Now, Dr. Rusilko is the CEO and Founder of Lifestyle Medicine, a disruptive practice that stands at the intersection of functional medicine and personalized lifestyle enhancements. Here, the philosophy is clear and transformative: optimal health is not merely about preventing illness but instead empowering individuals to live their dreams to the fullest, with a focus that spans the physical, emotional, and mental facets of well-being.

Lifestyle Medicine offers a gamut of services, from advanced nutritional counseling and fitness plans to innovative treatments like mercury detoxification, peptides, and hormone optimization with the addition of advanced modalities like hyperbaric oxygen, ketamine infusions and cellular therapy. Each treatment plan is as unique as the individuals who walk through their doors, tailored meticulously to align with personal health goals and the dreams they dare to pursue.

“Healthcare should be unique to each individual because it’s our individuality that makes us human. It’s not a one size fits all approach like traditional medicine, that’s just bullshit.”

Living by Example: A Paradigm of Health

“I use the form of medicine I created to live the fullest life possible. A version of health focuses on experiential living that enables me to do the crazy things I do at such a high pace. Everyone deserves this.”

Dr. Rusilko’s personal and professional life is a testament to the holistic philosophy of Lifestyle Medicine. He strongly believes that healthcare providers should not only offer advice but also exemplify it. Dr. Rusilko takes this belief one step further by showing how his medicine translates into the real world embodied in his adventurous pursuits. From swimming with tiger sharks to racing formula cars, his hobbies are made possible through the medicine he lives by and reflect his commitment to leveraging optimal health to enjoy life to its fullest. Dr. Rusilko hopes to inspire his patients to envision and pursue their deepest desires and “best life” which looks different for everyone and is why customized healthcare is critical to care for one’s health.

Dr. Rusilko’s life is a powerful demonstration of the joy and fulfillment that come from prioritizing health to better pursue personal goals and real life adventures.

Conclusion: Inspiring Patients to Pursue Dreams

Dr. Ivan Rusilko

Dr. Ivan Rusilko’s remarkable transition from a champion bodybuilder to the founder of Lifestyle Medicine showcases a dynamic blend of discipline, innovation, and a deep commitment to holistic health. His journey, marked by athletic achievements and pioneering contributions to personalized healthcare, underscores the power of living by the principles of fitness and wellness he preaches. By embodying the ideal of health in both his personal exploits and professional endeavors, Dr. Rusilko not only inspires those around him to strive for their best lives but also demonstrates the profound impact of integrating physical prowess with medical expertise. His story is a compelling example for anyone aiming to merge their passion for fitness with a purpose-driven approach to health and well-being.

“Your doctor should be your hero as you come to them in your time of need. If your doctor doesn’t exemplify health… find a new doctor.”

M&F and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.