Top Plant-Based Doctors & Experts

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

If you are following a whole food plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle, you need to know these Plant-Based Diet Doctors & Experts that have been at the forefront for decades.

plant based doctors collage of 6

Without a doubt, switching to a plant-based diet and lifestyle can be life-changing. But it can also be overwhelming and confusing trying to decipher all of the information out there, but these healthcare professionals have made it their mission to make it easier.

They are the leading experts and researchers in the field and the go-tos for everything and anything related to following a whole-food, plant-based diet and have spent their entire careers following the truth, wherever it led and whatever the cost–personally or professionally.

Each one has spent decades studying nutrition and published numerous research papers in peer-reviewed medical journals. They are considered the inspiring pioneers of the plant-based movement.

These whole food plant-based doctors are part of the wellness oasis where you will learn about the preventive and healing power of plant-based nutrition.

Meet the WFPB diet experts

Dr T Colin Campbell PhD plant based diet

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D

Dr. Campbell is the father of whole food, plant-based nutrition who introduced the phrase Whole Food, Plant-Based when he was a member of a National Institutes of Health (NIH) cancer-research grant review panel from 1978 to 1980.

Campbell is Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and author of over 300 research papers. Co-author of The China Study and Whole.

Dr.-Caldwell-Esselstyn headshot

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr, M.D.

Dr. Esselstyn, the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.D. from Western Reserve University. In 1956, pulling the No. 6 oar as a member of the victorious United States rowing team, he was awarded a gold medal at the Olympic Games.

He was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George’s Hospital in London. In 1968, as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he was awarded the Bronze Star.–Dr. Esselstyn Bio

dr neal barnard md in medical office

Neal Barnard M.D., F.A.C.C

Dr. Barnard is an adjunct associate professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and founder of Barnard Medical Center, is a nutrition researcher, author, and health advocate, and President of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Dr. Barnard has authored more than 70 scientific publications as well as 18 books, including the New York Times best-sellers Power Foods for the Brain21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart, and the USA Today best-seller Dr. Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, and stars in four PBS specials about diet and health.

dr john mcdougall MD

John McDougall, M.D.

Dr. McDougall is 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 30 years.

He and his wife Mary are also the authors of several nationally best-selling books including The Starch Solution.

whole food plant based doctor Dean Ornish

Dean Ornish, M.D.

Dr. Ornish is an American physician and researcher. He is the president and founder of the nonprofit Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California and a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

The author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Eat More, Weigh Less and The Spectrum, he is a well-known advocate for using diet and lifestyle changes to treat and prevent heart disease.

After 16 years of review, Medicare recently agreed to provide coverage for Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease. This is the first time that Medicare has covered a program of comprehensive lifestyle changes.

plant based doctor pam popper

Dr. Pam Popper

 Dr. Popper is the founder and President of Wellness Forum Health. The company offers educational programs to both consumers and providers that facilitate informed medical decision-making, diet and lifestyle intervention, and improved long-term health outcomes. Through its own network of providers, Wellness Forum Health offers direct-to-consumer healthcare services.

Pam serves on the Physician’s Steering Committee and the President’s Board for the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington D.C.  Pam was one of the health care professionals involved in the famed Sacramento Food Bank Project, in which economically disadvantaged people were shown how to reverse their diseases and eliminate medications with diet.

Dr. Michael Greger MD

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM

Dr. Greger is a physician, New York Times bestselling author and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues.

Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless other symposia and institutions; testified before Congress; has appeared on shows such as The Colbert Report and The Dr. Oz Show; and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous “meat defamation” trial.

Dr. Greger is also licensed as a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition and is a founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.

He was featured on the Healthy Living Channel promoting his latest nutrition DVDs and honored to teach part of Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s esteemed nutrition course at Cornell University. Dr. Greger’s nutrition work can be found at, which is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit charity.

Plant-Based Diet Doctors & Experts Michael Klapper

Michael Klaper, M.D.

Dr. Michale Klaper, is a gifted clinician, internationally recognized teacher, and sought-after speaker on diet and health. He has practiced medicine for more than 40 years and is a leading educator in applied plant-based nutrition and integrative medicine.

He is also the author of a successful book on cholesterol-free nutrition and an upcoming title (to be announced in 2017), as well as numerous DVDs and Videos on Demand and a series of “Healthy YOU Webinars.”

Plant-Based Diet Doctors & Experts Joel Furman

Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Dr. Fuhrman is a board-certified family physician, six-time New York Times best-selling author and internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods.

Dr. Fuhrman coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe his eating style, which is built around a diet of nutrient-dense, plant-rich foods.

Plant-Based Diet Doctors & Experts Brenda Davis

Brenda Davis, Registered Dietitian

Brenda Davis, registered dietitian, is a plant-based trailblazer and an internationally acclaimed speaker. She has been a featured speaker at medical, nutrition, and dietetic conferences in 25 countries on 6 continents.

As a prolific nutrition writer, Brenda has authored/co-authored 13 books with nearly a million copies in print in 12 languages. Her latest book, Plant-Powered Protein, was released in 2023.  She has also authored and co-authored numerous professional and lay articles and is a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Brenda was the lead dietitian in a diabetes intervention research project in the Marshall Islands. She was the 7th recipient of the Plantrician Project’s Luminary Award in 2022 and was inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame in 2007. She lives in Calgary Alberta Canada with her husband, Paul. She has 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren.

More specialists joining the movement

The experts listed above are the professionals who have been researching and educating in the plant-based arena for the longest–decades of their lives pursuing the truth at great costs to them personally and professionally.

But, they are no longer alone. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine was started in 1985 with only a handful of physicians and now has grown to over 12,000 and rapidly expanding.

Doctors and researchers from every nation and color are now represented in this growing list that is standing on the shoulders of these pioneers in the field.

There are physicians specializing in plant-based nutrition now available through telehealth which is a wonderful new resource. Love.Life Telehealth licensed medical doctors will partner with you on a path to wellness that addresses lifestyle changes like movement, stress reduction, nutrition, and more, while working with you to manage any existing medical conditions.

If you are looking for a plant-based supportive physician, check out this link, Plant-Based Doctors, to find one in your area. This is another link to find a physician near you- Plant-Based Docs.

For more articles from plant-based experts, check out our Plant-Based Doctors Guest Authors.

Kaiser Permanente in Support of Plant-Based Nutrition

In 2017, Kaiser Permanente, the largest healthcare organization, came out in support of plant-based nutrition with its Healthy Living: Eat Healthy Live Better program.

“As I see skyrocketing incidences of conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, I am profoundly aware that there is so much potential for preventing or even reversing most of these problems through very inexpensive lifestyle changes centered on proper nutrition.” — Carmelo Mejia, MD, Internal Medicine, Kaiser Permanente

WFPB Free Beginner Guides

For those searching for more information about getting started with a whole food plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle, these Beginner Guides should be helpful.

Similar Posts


  1. Hi, My son is 17 years old and is using the plant based diet.
    He’s following the diet, but he tells me he has fish once a week ( 120gm only ), until another 7 Months pass, then he plans to drop fish.
    On top of this he eats no sugar, other than what is in fruit, but he tells me he has one piece of chocolate per day.
    Note he eats nothing processed.
    He stands 171cm high and weighted 54kg before he started the plant diet, to add to this he had lost too much weight 6 Months ago and was down to 49kg.
    We got him “Abe” to a doctor, who got him onto a nutritionist.
    Over a period of 3 Months we got him up to 54kg.
    Then he found the “Plant based diet”, he is now down to 51kg.
    I can’t talk to him about this as “I’m his father and know nothing”.
    I’m telling him that his diet would be fine if he was 24 years old.
    In fact it would be good for me at 54 years old.
    To describe myself I’m 54 Years 173cm tall weigh 76 kg.
    I road bike approx. 300km per week and have around 10% fat and eat most things.
    I like to think I look after myself.
    The question I’m asking.
    Is this diet harming him??? as I think it is.
    Please note than Abe was a very good sports person 2 years ago and was ratted as one of the best 14 years cyclists in this small country called New Zealand (4 million people).
    His older brother is 18 Months older and is 185 tall and weighs 76kg.
    His brother is one of the best under 23 years cyclist in NZ at present.
    Abe is active but I can see him getting ill from this diet.
    Please note he did a US paper on the Plant based diet and passed with ease.
    To help describe Abe, he is very focused on what ever he does.
    He goes to bed at 7.30pm every night and gets up at 4am every morning.
    His day is completely programed, he is very good at school on top of this.
    as his parents we can not go into his bedroom as can ant body, he is only aloud in there so many times a day, Abe does not even do his home work in his room.
    Please don’t miss understand me as he’s a great person and people like him, he doesn’t get bullied at school as he’s so strong in the mind.
    Any advice would appreciated, even if I’m told I’ve got it wrong.
    King Regards
    Worried parent
    Myles ODonnell

    1. Myles, perhaps seeking out a plant-based nutritionist or physician would be a good idea. Your son sounds like a very smart and dedicated person. Maybe he would appreciate assistance from someone that specializes in plant-based nutrition that could help guide him and keep his BMI (body mass index) within range. Working with a specialist could also help relieve your worries. Wishing you both all the best.

  2. Hello,
    What needs to happen is a list of plant based medical Doctors who take Medicare. The plant based list online is self promoted and very few on the list eat a whole food plant based diet. Very disheartening. The list needs to be screened and verified who these Dr’s are. The very few who are legit take NO insurance which leaves all but the wealthy able to get better. So disappointed and very sad I have no one to help me. I took the plant based courses at Cornell, and saw a doctor today who told me food does nothing to help anyone, only drugs. Please, PLEASE update a site of Dr’s willing to take Medicare who think outside the box.
    Sadly, Lynn

    1. Why do you need Medicare to start eating plant based foods? All the information is there. Check out healthline’s thorough explanation of plant based eating, including a menu plan. Just do it.

      1. If older people just started eating WFPB they are still going to be faced with consequences of bad eating from the pass. It’s true we are faced with some scary decisions to make and it’s hard to trust doctors who don’t support WFPB. Yes we can go ahead and eat WFPB. I was faced with surgeries and I joined Wellness Forum Health not expensive. Dr. Pam Popper helped me to make informed medical decisions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *