John A. McDougall, MD

The 7 Original Heroes of the Movement

Featured Hero:   Dr. John A. McDougall

A physician and nutrition expert who teaches better health through vegetarian cuisine, John A. McDougall, MD has been studying, writing, and speaking out about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 50 years. The McDougalls founded the nationally renowned McDougall Program in Santa Rosa, CA where medical miracles occur through diet and lifestyle changes.

Born a passionate person, with a larger-than-life type-A personality, Dr. McDougall lived with this high enthusiasm, for better or worse, every single day. His most memorable childhood lesson was about the importance of honesty.

Dr. McDougall’s education began in October of 1965, at age 18, when he suffered a massive stroke that left him completely paralyzed on the left side of his body for 2 weeks, and he remains noticeably physically weakened 44 years later. This was his first real contact with the businesses of medicine, and without this opportunity he says he would have never become a physician.

In May of 2002, the first McDougall Program was started at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California. The yearly census quadrupled in no time. It’s said that the food now tastes as if Mary McDougall made it herself at home.

The McDougall non-profit foundation has raised money and has begun a study with Oregon Health & Science University on the dietary treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. The web site,, is receiving 7 to 8 million hits a month. The McDougall, MD TV show is playing in 95% of households worldwide. Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods are in nearly 4000 stores. They report that their free newsletter is going out to 30,000 people monthly and they make new friends every month at their sessions: 10-day medical live-in programs, 5-day programs, Advanced Study Weekends, Celebrity Chef Weekends, and Adventure Trips. Seems like they’re on a productive track.

Photo Courtesy of AB Quotes

Author of “The Startch Solution” which has been known to not just change lives, but save lives, Dr. McDougall has recently co-authored AB 1478, a bill asking for even more informed consent for the people of the state of California. One part of this bill requires doctors to tell patients that heart surgery does not save lives in most cases and that diet is a real answer. The second part requires doctors to tell patients that common medications for type-2 diabetes increase their risk of dying and that diet will help them greatly. The bill is in committee now. Dr. McDougall has been said to wonder if there will be any negative repercussions for himself from colleagues when AB 1478 is passed into law.

Dr. McDougall’s parents taught him to tell the truth, always, and his life would be guided by his passions. That has proven true throughout his career and the work he has done and continues to do. Medical care is changing for the better because millions of informed people are demanding improved health, rather than more treatments. He encourages optimism and to believe this is unfixable is unthinkable.

We are honored to recognize Dr. McDougall for his dedication to changing the state of medicine by eliminating chronic pain and preventing diseases like diabetes and MS.