Dr. Tom Rifai is Founder and CEO of FlexMD, a digital health company focused on therapeutic lifestyle support. He is a diplomate of both American Boards of Internal and Lifestyle Medicine and past president of the American Board of Physician Nutrition Specialists. Dr. Rifai was a question writer for the original Obesity Medicine Certification exam. He serves on the True Health Initiate Board of Directors.
Dr. Rifai is the course director for Harvard University’s most popular online Lifestyle Medicine continuing medical education program – Nutrition and the Metabolic Syndrome – which integrates his 5 Keys to Optimal Wellness system and which has now been taken by over 3000 healthcare professionals.
Dr. Rifai’s 5 Keys, comprised of critical skills and knowledge necessary for successful long term transformational lifestyle change, are: psychology, nutrition, physical activity, managing (food, social and physical) environments and accountability. They are rooted in an advanced understanding of Flexitarianism – inspired by his unique combination of medical and lifestyle modification training blended with his binge eating disorder experiences, a disorder to which he lost his youngest brother, Basil. Dr. Rifai’s upcoming book, The Flex5: Your 5 Keys to Forever Health, will be dedicated to Basil.
His 5 Keys to Optimal Wellness inspired the central theme for the 2019 “Tools for Lifestyle Change” Harvard Institute of Lifestyle Medicine International Conference. The 5 Keys system was chosen in 2021 by the Henry Ford Health System’s Metabolic Health leaders as their unifying patient education curriculum of choice for all Henry Ford metabolic health programs throughout metro Detroit.
Dr. Rifai’s personal journey was a central theme in his premier article as Editor in Chief for THI’s NOTeD (News Of The Day) platform. NOTeD was originally only focused on debunking nutrition and lifestyle misinformation in the media. Since late 2020, Dr. Rifai has led NOTeD’s evolution into a video interview-based format, providing THI audiences with access to world luminaries in nutrition and exercise science, lifestyle medicine, innovation and anthropology.
Dr. Rifai served as Associate Medical Director of the renown Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, Florida, and over a decade on Pritikin’s science advisory committee. He continues to serve as lead educator for dietary fats and weight control for the Medicare-approved Pritikin Intensive Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which is now running in over 100 hospital cardiac rehabilitation programs throughout the USA.
Dr. Rifai is happily married to Angela Rifai. They have two beautiful young children, whom – especially being in his mid 50’s – he considers his primary WHYs (i.e. why he is so passionate about staying young and healthy via lifestyle).