Dr Tom Rifai trained in primary care internal medicine and specialized in lifestyle medicine, nutrition and behavior modification in the areas of preventing the lifestyle driven problems of our time: type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, dementia and weight control. His evidence based training and clinical approach is one of "lifestyle first, medications only if necessary".
Dr Rifai is Fellow of the American College of Physicians for his leadership in education of physicians and medical students in lifestyle medicine and type 2 diabetes prevention. He is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine and former president of the National Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists. His Bachelors of Science is in Psychology and he himself is a recovering binge eater - which results in a very unique blend of personal and professional expertise. His own personal medical history includes being a former pre-diabetic and weighing over 200 lbs (over 90 kg) at 5 feet and 7 inches tall (170 cm) and now maintains at ~150-155 lbs (68-70 kg).
He serves as Regional Medical Director of Metabolic Health and Weight Management for the world renown Henry Ford Health System of Metro Detroit, Michigan and is founder and CEO of Reality Meets Science® LLC ("RMS"), a health and wellness company. The RMS philosophy is to translate lifestyle science into practical applications for the every day person (tag line: "Lifestyle Science for YOU"). Rifai's "5 Keys to unlocking ultimate health" has been licensed to Henry Ford Health System and has proven to have high marks from patients in Ford's Metabolic Health and Weight Management program.
Dr Rifai is distinguished as a Harvard Medical School online course director on the urgent topic of prevention of type 2 diabetes (CME course title: "Nutrition and the Metabolic Syndrome"). Dr. Rifai's Harvard CME course has educated thousands of health care providers since its release in 2009 and is in the top quintile of most popular online Lifestyle Medicine courses through Harvard Medical School.
Dr Rifai received his M.D. from Wayne State University School of Medicine – one of the few medical schools in the US with a significant medical nutrition education component, and he continues as a lecturer and clinical assistant professor of medicine there.
Throughout 2008 Dr Rifai served as the Associate Medical Director for the world renown Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida, helping revamp their nutrition, lab testing and educational programs – particularly as it applied to weight management and type 2 diabetes. He was consistently assessed as one the most dynamic, compelling and enjoyable lecturers while at Pritikin. He continues a relationship with Pritikin as a member of their Science Advisory Board and as part of their national, Medicare approved, Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation (ICR) video education series, providing the lead educator role on dietary fats and weight management. He was also on the Pritikin roster for expert guest speakers in 2017, which also included other nationally recognized name such as Dr. Michael Gregor, author of "How Not to Die" and former American College of Sports Medicine President, Dr Barry Franklin.
Dr. Rifai is a highly sought after public speaker and appearing via TV and radio media in Detroit, as well as New York, Miami, Las Vegas and others. Print appearances have included the honor of being given a full page spread and article in the 2010 HOUR Detroit Magazine “TOP DOCS” issue, as well as being featured in the 2013 issue on the topic of the type 2 diabetes epidemic in Michigan. His appearance in the Michigan Emmy Award nominated documentary film "The Embrace of Aging - The Male Perspective" while in Sardinia, Italy was touted as one of the most memorable parts of the film (EmbraceOfAging.com).
Dr Rifai has also served the public by donating his time as a gratis consultant to two Michigan public school systems in Warren and Birmingham and as nutrition advisor to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan electronic publications.
In 2009 Dr Rifai co-designed a comprehensive a healthy gourmet menu for the largest Michigan based Italian restaurant chain, Andiamo Italia restaurants called "Andiamo Lean!". Working with executive chef Jim Oppat, the menu was designed to allow metabolic patients (lipid, blood pressure, diabetes and weight control) a fine dining, healthy culinary experience. Though the "Andiamo Lean!" menu no longer appears in its original form on the menus, it's philosophy of allowing the customer to custom order their meals towards healthier preparation (low/no salt, low/no oil or butter, etc) has now been integrated into the restaurants' service philosophy (including courtesy of being asked if bread basket is desired, rather than bringing without asking).
Dr Rifai is married to Angela. They welcomed their first child into the world May of 2015, a beautiful daughter, Liliana and their second arrived June 2017, handsome little Antonio!
Dr Rifai enjoys brisk walking, biking, strength training and flexibility exercises for health. He also enjoys domestic and international travel, playing guitar and singing and during medical school was in a band that raised money for pediatric cancer as well Alzheimer's research. He enjoys pop film culture and live shows ranging from rock concerts to musicals, comedy shows and classical music. He has been to multiple countries including but not limited to Thailand, Taiwan, Colombia, Argentina, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, France, UK, Canada, Mexico, Belgium and Brussels.