The Switch4Good Podcast

Dr. Dawn Mussallem – This Plant-Based Physician Survived Two Death Sentences To Become a Real Life Wonder Woman

Dec 7, 2022

Dr. Dawn Mussallem is a board-certified Lifestyle Medicine Physician at the Mayo Clinic Jacoby Center for Breast Health, where she works with breast cancer patients during and after their diagnosis to heal and thrive using the pillars of lifestyle medicine alongside their conventional cancer treatments.

Dawn has many remarkable stories of patient recovery, but the biggest recovery story of all is her own. You see, in addition to being a physician, teacher, wife, and mother, Mussallem is also a cancer survivor and 2021 heart transplant recipient. As of February 2022, she’s also a marathon finisher!

It’s a story you simply have to hear to believe, and her passion and positivity will leave a lasting impact. Not only does she acknowledge her family and faith in this decades-long journey, but she also credits her whole foods plant-based diet with her ability to thrive and train with a renewed sense of purpose and boundless energy. It’s a life force she brings both to her life and the lives of the patients she works with on a daily basis.


Listen to Episode 207 with Dr. Dawn Mussallem

About Dawn Mussallem, DO

Dr. Mussallem is a consultant in the Department of General Internal Medicine at Mayo Clinic and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a diagnostic breast specialist at The Robert and Monica Jacoby Center for Breast Health and serves as Medical Director for Mayo Clinic Florida Lyndra P. Daniel Center for Humanities in Medicine. Dr. Mussallem is double-board certified, including board certification in Lifestyle Medicine. She has over 25 years of patient-centered clinical wellness experience with international recognition in the field of breast medicine, lifestyle medicine, integrative oncology, cancer prevention, and cancer survivorship, and a uniquely personal experience as a stage IV cancer patient (diagnosed 3 months into medical school), as well as a heart transplant recipient.

Dawn shares that her journey as a patient cultivated her boundless energy and deep purpose to help guide patients toward renewed vitality. In 2015, she founded the Integrative Medicine and Breast Health Program at Mayo Clinic Florida, a patient-centered program that works with breast cancer patients during and after a breast cancer diagnosis, introducing them early on to the importance of lifestyle optimization and evidence-based mind-body practices alongside conventional cancer treatments with a goal to reframe the cancer diagnosis as a “teacher of life,” leading patients to discover renewed vitality through healthier living.

Episode Resources:

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Want to live your best PLANTSTRONG life? Join our exclusive PLANTSTRONG Community of friendly, plant-loving peeps! This is a goldmine of resources, recipes, and incredible support to feed your PLANTSTRONG life.

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