Physician Profile: Kerry Foley, M.D.
Kerry Foley, M.D., transitioned to a plant-based diet to avoid the Alzheimer’s disease that killed her mother and grandmother. So when she read Power Foods for the Brain by Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D., she knew she had made the right decision.
“The book just made so much sense!” says Dr. Foley, who graduated from Georgetown University Medical School in 1982 with, as she put it, “zero nutrition education.”
An emergency physician in the Washington area for 25 years, Dr. Foley began transitioning to a vegetarian diet five years ago, as she left clinical practice to take care of her ailing parents.
“My dad, who has since died, had myriad health problems, including colon cancer and pancreatic cancer,” Dr. Foley explains. “He was a sweet guy, but his diet didn’t do him any favors: Dinty Moore stew, Little Debbie snack cakes, and never any green or fresh foods.”
Motivated to do anything possible to avoid the diseases that took her parents’ lives, she has not had a bite of animal-based food since watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, featuring Dr. Barnard, two years ago.
“I effortlessly dropped 15 pounds, my cholesterol went from 208 to 170, and my energy levels soared—and my health continues to improve,” says Dr. Foley, who recently shared her story as she worked at a Physicians Committee booth at a conference geared toward doctors and other health care professionals.
As a former emergency physician, she also supports the Physicians Committee’s new campaign to replace the use of animals in emergency medicine residencies.
“I was spared animal laboratories in my training, and I succeeded in emergency medicine for 25 years,” says Dr. Foley, who, along with her husband and three children, shares her home with three dogs. “The world needs to know that animals and humans both suffer when future doctors are trained on animals instead of simulators.”