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March 26, 2013

Dr. Mark Warren Voted “Best Doc” by Cleveland Magazine!

Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.

We are very proud to announce our very own Mark Warren, MD, was voted a “2013 Best Doctor” by Cleveland Magazine! He was named by a national board of his peers. Pick up a print version to see the full listing, or read about the featured physicians.

“I’m so honored and thrilled to be acknowledged by my peers and community as a Best Doc,” says Dr. Warren. “It’s gratifying to know that all of our hard work at the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders and our profound and unrelenting commitment to eating disorder treatment is getting noticed and making a difference in this field.”

With this monumental achievement, we sat down with Dr. Warren to reflect on his career and accomplishments, where his passion for eating disorder treatment comes from, and what’s next for him. Read on to learn more about Dr. Warren and why he continues to inspire us every day.

What is your area of expertise within the subject of eating disorders?

 There are several areas that I have gained expertise in. The three that are my greatest focus are men and eating disorders, professionals with a history of eating disorders, and evidence-based therapies.

 At what point in your training did you decide to specialize in the study of eating disorders, and why?

Dr. Warren: I went into the treatment of eating disorders after about 12 years of practice. I have a history of anorexia, which started in my teenage years. I was lucky to fall in love with (and for her to have been equally smitten) a woman who successfully re-fed me. As there was no eating disorder treatment at the time, my own recovery was haphazard and spread out over many years.

Only after full recovery — not only being re-fed and stopping behaviors, but also feeling whole and having a good relationship with my body and with food — did I enter the field of eating disorder treatment. I then retrained in dialectical behavioral therapy, learned Maudsley Family Based Therapy, and began my full-time eating disorder work with Lucene Wisniewski, PhD — my partner here at CCED.

What is the most interesting or surprising thing you have learned about eating disorders over your years of research and practice?

I suppose it is how much sense they make when you are suffering from an eating disorder and how little sense they make to everyone else. Our new understanding of the biology of eating disorders and the brain has helped to make this separation so much clearer. I have great hopes that our further biological understanding will make eating disorders sensible to everyone and make clear how foolish and wrong it is to see eating disorders as a conscious choice.

If money were no object, what aspect of eating disorders would you most like to explore in research, or what resource/treatment would you most like to develop?

I would most like to explore in research how to develop treatments that help to stop the painful thoughts and feelings that accompany the disorder. We are getting better at re-feeding. We need to figure out how to help everyone with an eating disorder to experience a life worth living.

When you reflect on how far CCED has come since opening in 2006, what are you most proud of?

Before CCED, there was no way to get the most advanced, evidence-based care for eating disorders in Northeast Ohio. Patients either saw practitioners who were not using proven treatments or had to travel long distances to get the necessary care. We are still in a treatment environment where many providers either don’t know what evidence-based care is or don’t do the training needed to become an expert.

Now, for many patients, they can get the care they need, while staying at home. Eating disorders are deadly illnesses. Patients deserve the best practice of care from providers who have done the work to learn what has the highest likelihood of success. I am proud that CCED continuously strives to provide the best practice for all our patients.

What’s next on your list?

We have three main goals:

Under the lead of Dr. Wisniewski, we have developed and implemented new therapies based on the best evidence and will continue to expand in this way.

Second, we need to continue to research our outcomes so we know how well we are doing and what we can do to make ourselves better. This work is already ongoing and we are publishing and presenting our outcome data, which both improve the work we do and helps the eating disorder field as a whole.

Third, we need to get the word out that there is real therapy, therapy based on a scientific model, for eating disorders. Pediatricians, therapists, family doctors, internists, Emergency Room doctors, and, especially patients and their families, need to know that there is true help for those who suffer with eating disorders. When patients, providers, and families work together, there is hope for recovery.

Get help. Find hope.