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Dare to Live Fully: How Dr. Ivan Rusilko’s lifestyle medicine is revolutionising the industry

The 'Lifestyle Medicine expert is pioneering medical grade nutrition

By Jon Stojan

A man wearing a blue vest
Dr. Ivan Rusilko (Image: Provided)

The field of medicine is at a critical juncture. Healthcare providers are at a dire crossroads, confronted with the challenge of navigating the perverse incentives and stale practices found in traditional medicine while discerning genuine innovation from misleading fads in alternative medicine.

Dr. Ivan Rusilko, founder of an innovative and disruptive form of medicine he calls Lifestyle Medicine, is all too familiar with this dilemma.

The financial support provided by the pharmaceutical industry to medical schools, continuing medical education programs, and even the FDA raises ethical questions about trustworthiness and conflicts of interest. Students are often exposed to pharmaceutical marketing, which can shape their attitudes and perceptions on how to practice medicine potentially leading to a prescribe-first mentality that compromises their ability to practice evidence-based medicine. What’s even more concerning is that research from Johns Hopkins University shows that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Poor doctoring is the third leading cause of death in the US…let that sink in. This research, published in The BMJ, found that more than 250,000 deaths per year are due to medical error, placing it behind heart disease and cancer but ahead of respiratory disease in terms of mortality. Experts also believe this figure could be higher due to issues of underreporting and undiscovered links between medicines and side effects.

However, while the realm of functional medicine is a promising departure from the conventional system’s shortcomings, it is not without its pitfalls. The field is rife with individuals who, despite their revolutionary veneer, are false prophets with inflated egos looking to prey upon patients who are simply looking for a better form of healthcare. Driven more by personal gain than by a commitment to patient care, these charlatans undermine the credibility and effectiveness of functional approaches leveraged by genuine innovators seeking to transform healthcare for the better.

In light of these challenges, the need for a new approach in medicine becomes ever more apparent. The field is in desperate need of a model that bridges the gap between traditional and alternative practices, grounded in transparency, new technology, and a fundamental commitment to customised patient welfare, without the influence of Big Pharma’s model creating repeat clients to meet monthly financial models.

A man wing walking on a red plane
Dr. Ivan Rusilko wing walking in Olympic National Park (Image: Provided)

Dr. Ivan Rusilko, founder of Lifestyle Medicine, is viscerally disappointed by big pharma and the army of practitioners they have created who do nothing but regurgitate this business first approach to medicine. Prescribe, prescribe, prescribe. With his unique approach to what he describes as experiential medicine, Dr. Rusilko leads by example; he shows people how medicine can and should holistically improve the quality of life for the living and not just prevent death and disease by extending a sub-par quality of life. Through his lifestyle choices — and his Balls Deep Living Academy and Club — Dr Rusilko embarks on daring adventures and impressive physical feats showcasing how enjoyable life can be when one’s body is in harmony physically, mentally, and emotionally. He believes this inspires his patients, whom he considers family, to not only maximise their health, but to get healthy for a reason or a goal, no matter how extreme or extravagant it may be.

Dr. Ivan Rusilko tickling tiger sharks (Image: Provided)

Dr. Rusilko’s philosophy emphasises comprehensive diagnoses and hyper-customised treatment plans that empower people to live the most exciting and meaningful lives possible. Rather than the ‘one-size-fits-all’ system of traditional medicine and Big Pharma, Dr. Rusilko focuses on individual needs to create constellation treatment plans tailored to unique physiological, mental, and emotional conditions. Rusilko treats everything from mercury toxicity to cancer to hormonal imbalances utilising the most advanced medicinal therapies, cutting edge treatments, and common sense medicine like peptides, ketamine, and hyperbaric oxygen. Dr. Rusilko is a pioneer pushing the boundaries of medicine for the purpose of living. His journey is not just about challenging the status quo; it’s about breaking it by reimagining healthcare from the ground up with the patients’ best interests at the forefront — not Big Pharma’s stock prices.

From a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania to the glitzy corridors of international fame and back to the heart of medical innovation, Dr. Rusilko’s story is nothing short of extraordinary.

Born into a family deeply entrenched in the medical field, with a brother who is a urologic reconstructive surgeon, a sister who is a physician’s assistant, a mother with a master’s in psychology, and a father who was a chiropractor, Dr. Rusilko’s destiny seemed intertwined with healthcare from the start. His upbringing in Meadville, Pennsylvania, was marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence, both academically and in sports, particularly hockey.

At the tender age of 16, Dr. Rusilko found himself making a pivotal decision. The young Rusilko was offered to play professional hockey and also accepted into a program that allowed him to accelerate his undergraduate obligations and dive into medical school earlier than his peers. Despite his passion for hockey, the promise of a stable and impactful career in medicine, nudged along by familial expectations, guided his decision to forgo going pro.

While undergoing his medical education at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Rusilko began a career in bodybuilding, where he learned the crucial balance of physical training, nutrition, and lifestyle management—elements ignored in traditional education and have since become cornerstones of his medical philosophy. Overachieving as he does, Dr. Rusilko ultimately won the prestigious Mr. USA award twice, in 2008 and 2010. As the winner, he traveled the world, experiencing new cultures and immersing himself in the experience of what life can be at its best, another cornerstone of his current practice. His success in this arena catapulted him onto the international stage, opening new opportunities and allowing him to rub shoulders with CEOs and celebrities, all of whom had the same ailments. This realisation would serve as partial inspiration for the creation of Lifestyle Medicine and what it stands for today.

During these formative experiences, Dr. Rusilko’s vision for a new kind of medicine began to crystallise — a form of healthcare prioritising lifestyle, sexual health, and holistic wellness over traditional, symptom-focused treatments. His approach was unconventional, to say the least, blending his medical knowledge with insights gained from his varied life experiences to create a practice focused on enhancing the quality of life.

Rejecting the traditional post-medical school trajectory, Dr. Rusilko ventured into uncharted territory with finding alternative ways to improve the health of his patients as his main focus. From operating out of the Four Seasons when he first moved to Miami, Dr. Rusilko quickly grew his business with unique IV protocols, early adoption of peptides, solutions for sexual health, and hormone optimisation. In 2013, at 28, he opened an international clinic in the prestigious Recoleta district of Buenos Aires.

After successfully exiting the company, Dr. Rusilko founded Lifestyle Medicine in Miami. As an objective measure of the demand, Dr. Rusilko has grown Lifestyle Medicine to a multi-million dollar practice within a year of operation without spending a single dollar on marketing. Now, he has plans to expand to New York and Morocco, and online.

Dr. Ivan Rusilko and his five-person hyperbaric oxygen chamber
Dr. Ivan Rusilko and his five-person hyperbaric oxygen chamber (Image: Provided)

Today, Lifestyle Medicine, articulated by Dr. Rusilko, is a radical departure from conventional healthcare. The practice emphasises the uniqueness of each patient, integrating their lifestyle and mental, physical, and emotional health. Treating patients like family, Dr. Rusilko’s personal and informal approach transforms his clinic into a sanctuary for those seeking both medical intervention as well as genuine support and understanding. Lifestyle Medicine’s emphasis on customisation and diagnosis enables Dr. Rusilko to uncover the nuanced, often interrelated factors impacting a patient’s health. Moreover, the treatments do not operate in isolation but rather as part of a constellation approach. Dr Rusilko integrates various therapeutic modalities to address the complex web of variables affecting a patient’s health.

This holistic strategy may include nutritional guidance, physical fitness plans, hormone optimisation, peptide therapy, sexual health, ketamine treatments, corrective medicine for people seeking to rectify harmful treatment from other doctors, sleep hygiene, mercury detoxification, and more, all tailored to the individual’s specific health goals and challenges.

**This article is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. If you are seeking medical adivce, diagnosis or treatment, please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.**

A man in a black shirt holds a red syringe
Dr. Ivan Rusilko is pioneering medical grade nutrition (Image: Provided)

Looking ahead to 2024, Dr. Rusilko intends to continue honing his skills of providing expertly tailored, hyper-specific, and meaningful healthcare modalities for his patients. Two critical areas of health that Dr. Rusilko feels are often overlooked are sleep and mercury levels. For the past 12 years of practicing, Dr. Rusilko has seen these two areas as the most apparent factors limiting health optimisation. Identifying sleep as arguably the most undervalued aspect of health, he aims to educate and transform sleep hygiene practices and nutritional/peptide therapies. Dr Rusilko is not a fan of quick fixes like sedatives, aiming to address underlying issues that may impede restful sleep. Similarly, mercury detoxification is a profound yet frequently ignored risk factor for a myriad of health conditions. Unfortunately, the prevalence of this issue can be traced to yet another medical calamity, the introduction of amalgam fillings or dental fillings containing high mercury levels. By identifying and treating mercury toxicity, Dr. Rusilko mitigates its harmful effects, thereby preventing its contribution to chronic health issues and promoting a more profound healing process.

At the core of Dr. Rusilko’s belief system is the notion that a physician should not only be a healthcare provider but also a source of inspiration, mirroring the ideals and lifestyle their patients strive towards.

“You can’t take weight loss advice from a fat doctor, nor should you take any advice from a doctor that doesn’t live the lifestyle he expects you to,” Dr. Rusilko affirms.

Dr. Rusilko embodies this ideal, marking a transformative shift in how we view the doctor-patient relationship. This disruptive model advocates for doctors to set an example, motivating their patients with their actions, extensive knowledge, and unwavering dedication to health. Dr. Rusilko hopes this revolutionary perspective inspires people to critically evaluate their healthcare providers, demanding a higher standard of care and personal accountability.

To learn more about Dr. Ivan Rusilko, Lifestyle Medicine, and his disruptive and exciting approach to medicine, check out his website and Instagram.

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