The Art & Science of Personal Transformation

Meet Your Coach

"Dr. Peña's education, knowledge and experience are priceless when it comes to discussing my health issues."
- Angelita M.W., Austin, Texas

From surgeon to coach.

Listen in as Victor describes his journey from surgery to health coaching, as recorded during a recent interview with the fitness & nutrition expert, Krista Scott-Dixon, PhD, of Precision Nutrition. 

About Dr. Victor Peña-Araujo

A medical doctor and surgeon by training, Victor has a decade of clinical experience in Ireland and the United Kingdom.  He has performed well over one thousand surgical procedures and managed the health of thousands of patients on the wards, intensive care units and in various specialty clinics.  He is proud to have treated each and every one of his patients with the same respect and compassion he has for his own family.  This experience has perfected the listening and communication skills that he puts to use with each of his health coaching clients.

Victor is a published author in international, peer-reviewed medical journals. He reviews the latest research in the fields of health, wellness, fitness, nutrition,  disease prevention and lifestyle optimization on a daily basis to continue to bring the best & most reliable strategies to his clients.  

He is consulted as an subject matter expert to review high-quality health, wellness and nutrition publications and curricula, such as Precision Nutrition's The Essentials of Sports & Exercise Nutrition, 4th Edition, (a 766-page, 4-volume textbook box set), and the e-book Genetics: The Universe Within, by Krista Scott-Dixon, PhD, and he is frequently consulted by innovative health, wellness and health tech companies.
As an engaging speaker, Victor  has been invited by the American College of Lifestyle Medicine to speak two years in a row at its annual international conference.  The conference features the foremost experts in evidence-based lifestyle medicine before an audience of 1,000+ healthcare professionals.  Victor enjoys connecting with all kinds of audiences to communicate the urgent need for  evidence-based, sustainable and enjoyable wellness solutions.  He is represented by the Lifestyle Medicine Speakers Bureau and is available for select events.

A talented educator, Victor has enjoyed a life-long passion of promoting science, health and medicine education among children, teens, medical students, residents, patients and coaching clients of all ages and walks of life.  For the past decade he has been tutoring and mentoring a small and select group of motivated students in the healthcare professions (MD, DO, DPT, PA, NP, RN, OT) and has been rated 5-out-of-5 stars in 98.5% of 580 unsolicited student reviews, spanning over 5,000 one-on-one tutoring hours.
Victor is a dedicated advocate of health & science literacy and critical thinking to empower the public to understand the world through science and to take charge of their own health, environment and future.  He has expressed this commitment in a variety of active roles, including as:

  • Director of Health & Wellness at Forward Motion Personal Training.  He worked with a team of highly qualified and experienced fitness professionals to bring Forward Motion's members a holistic health & wellness experience that goes well beyond personal training.

  • Member of the Communications Committee of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine.  He authored the College's first position paper, which addressed the ethical and recommended use of nutritional supplements by lifestyle medicine professionals.

  • Member of The Advisory Board of Science In The Wild.  Science In The Wild is a science adventure citizen initiative specializing in getting everyday people involved in doing real science.  It brings them extraordinarily immersive, first-hand experiences in field science in some of the most remote and ruggedly beautiful locations around the world.

  • Medical Translator at American Gateways.  Victor utilizes his Spanish and his medical expertise to volunteer as a medical translator for American Gateways, a non-profit organization dedicated to "championing the dignity and human rights of immigrants, refugees and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict and human trafficking through exceptional immigration legal services at no or low cost, education and advocacy."

  • Health Expert on International Radio.  He has been a regular pro-bono guest on international radio to promote healthy lifestyle choices in Spanish-speaking communities in North America and around the world.

  • "Quora Top Writer" in Health & Medical Topics.  Victor enjoys answering health-related questions on Quora, the free online knowledge community.  His answers have been read well over 2.6 million times and he was been recognized as a "Top Writer" and a "Most Viewed Writer" across five different health & medical topics.  To learn more please visit the ELITE Newsroom.

Having lived in Mexico City, New York, Boston, Dublin, London and Lyon, France, Victor is a proud resident of sunny Austin Texas where he leads an active lifestyle with his wife and their two young daughters.

Victor's Vision

For years Victor witnessed and managed the disastrous consequences of poor lifestyle choices made by many of his patients. During this time he grew increasingly frustrated by the constant pressure to spend less time with each patient when he felt that providing sound lifestyle guidance could make a real difference in their quality of life.

These realities eventually inspired him to make a radical career change and dedicate himself to preventing lifestyle-related diseases in the first place.  His goal became to prevent suffering, one person at a time, by applying the powers of cutting-edge science and sincere compassion in a one-on-one, personalized way.

ELITE Personalized Health is the result of this inspiration.

The Challenge

Throughout his surgical career Victor often pondered with frustration,

"With so many doctors rushing to treat so many chronically sick people, why can't one be dedicated to guiding those who are eager to avoid becoming patients in the first place?"

The sobering answer was that there are billions of dollars to be made from treating disease, but not so many to be made from preventing it. In our current society we tend to delegate our well-being to chance, unproven remedies, and whatever latest fads are being peddled by marketing departments and unscrupulous practitioners everywhere.

Furthermore, the multi-billion-dollar 'wellness' industry is capitalizing on this problem because it isn't built on sound scientific principles, proven methods, nor accountability to its consumers. Instead, it is mostly built on the principle of harnessing marketing hype to maximize net profits.

Consequently, we have to navigate our own hazardous path between the 'wellness' industry and the cost-prohibited health care or 'sickness' industry.

An Honest Solution

Victor believes that having professional, unbiased and personalized guidance on your side empowers you to make important health decisions in your life and in those of your loved ones.

His primary aim is to harness the power of the latest scientific research and deliver it to you as practical and personalized guidance that you can understand, trust and readily apply to your life. To accomplish this, Victor uses his love and talent for instruction to develop your skills and enable you to take intelligent and independent charge of your own health to attain lasting and profoundly enjoyable health and happiness.

Our mission is to lead you to optimize your own health naturally and effectively via a one-on-one personal interaction grounded on integrity, evidence-based strategies, and round-the-clock personal support.

Victor believes the time has come for real, personalized health.

Qualifications at a Glance

Formal Education

B.A. (Biology)
Hamilton College, New York, U.S.A.
Senior Thesis recognized by Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
- 1995 -
M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O., L.R.C.P. & S.I. (Medical Doctor)
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical School
The National University of Ireland
Honors in Biology, Anatomy, Toxicology & Microbiology
- 2002 -

Post-graduate Qualifications

Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (MRCSI)
Certificate of Completion of Basic Surgical Training (CCBST)
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
- 2008 -
Diplomate of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (Dipl. ACLM)
 The International Board of Lifestyle Medicine

The newly-established gold standard training for health professionals.
This is the most comprehensive & globally-recognized training in lifestyle medicine today.
Recognized by the Lifestyle Medicine Global Alliance and the 15 leading lifestyle medicine organizations around the world.
- 2017 -

Post-graduate Medical Training

Medical & Surgical Internship - 1 year
Health Service Executive, Dublin, Ireland

Emergency Medicine Senior House Officership - 6 months
James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Dublin, Ireland

Basic Surgical Training Residency - 3 years
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Senior Surgical Registrarship - 3 years
Health Service Executive, Dublin, Ireland

Clinical Research Fellowship in Surgery - 1 year
Chelsea & Westminster Hospital,
Imperial College London campus,
National Health Service, London, United Kingdom

Accredited* Training in Lifestyle Medicine

Harvard Medical School
Institute of Lifestyle Medicine
Lifestyle Medicine Curriculum:
Prescribing Exercise, Nutrition, Metabolic Syndrome,
Weight Management, Stress Management, Osteoporosis.

Yale University School of Medicine
Lifestyle & Weight Management Counseling Program for Healthcare Providers
Lifestyle Counseling in Primary Care
Behavior Modification
Update on Travel Medicine

American College of Preventative Medicine
The Lifestyle Medicine Core Competency Training Program:
Coaching, Nutrition, Physical Activity, Tobacco & Alcohol, Sleep Medicine
Culinary Medicine

Clinical Health Coach
The Interstate Post-graduate Medical Association
The Iowa Chronic Care Consortium

University of California at San Francisco
Nutrition for Health Maintenance & Disease Prevention
Certificate of Completion (90.4%)

George Washington University Medical School
Current Clinical Nutrition, Sustainable Lifestyle Changes,
Plant-based Diets for Weight Management,
Obesity, Weight Loss, Vegetarian & Vegan Diets
Prevention & Reversal of Heart Disease

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Sleep Medicine: Circadian Rhythm Misalignment
Pediatrics: Preventing Pediatric Obesity

Boston University School of Medicine
Lifestyle Interventions for Obesity & Related Health Risks
Recent Advances in Obesity Management
Weight-loss Medications for Obesity

American College of Lifestyle Medicine
Lifestyle Medicine 2017 Conference
Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Invited Speaker & Full Attendee

American College of Lifestyle Medicine
Lifestyle Medicine 2016 Conference
Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Invited Speaker & Full Attendee

American Medical Association
Promoting Healthy Families

Others
'Head Start' Program Helps Obese Children
(Projects in Knowledge)
Initiating & Optimizing Weight Loss in Obesity Management
(Dannemiller Medical Education)

Behavioral Science Training

Behavioral Science, Human Factors, Communication & Patient Safety
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
2-year Curriculum

A.C.E. Health Coach Certification
The American Council on Exercise
(NCCA) National Commission on Certifying Agencies accredited

A.C.E. Behavior Change Specialist
The American Council on Exercise
American College of Sports Medicine-approved
(NBHWC) National Board of Health & Wellness Coaching approved

Strategies for Behavior Modification
The American Council on Exercise
American College of Sports Medicine-approved

Specialized Nutrition Training

Certified Precision Nutrition Coach (Pn1)
Professional, research-driven sport & exercise nutrition
(NBHWC) National Board of Health & Wellness Coaching approved
American College of Sports Medicine approved
National Academy of Sports Medicine approved
American Council on Exercise approved

Stanford University School of Medicine
Childhood Nutrition & Cooking 2.0
Certificate with Distinction (98.8%)

Vanderbilt University
Nutrition, Health, and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights
Latest scientific evidence on nutrition & sports medicine
Certificate with Distinction (99%)

The American Council on Exercise
Non-diet Weight Management
Weight Management Strategies
Preventing Pediatric Obesity
Weight Management for Teens

The New Nordic Diet
University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Department of Nutrition, Exercise & Sports
NOMA Restaurant (Rated world's best restaurant 2009-2013).
Certificate with Highest Distinction (100%)

Other Relevant Training

Basic Life Support for Healthcare Providers
American Heart Association
(NCCA) National Commission on Certifying Agencies accredited

Current Training

National Board of Health & Wellness Coaching Certification
Lifestyle Medicine Health & Wellness Coach
Wellcoaches School of Coaching

Dr. Peña is an active member of the following professional organizations

The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
The American College of Lifestyle Medicine
The Lone Start Lifestyle Medicine
Think Tank
The International Board of Lifestyle Medicine

Ultimately, qualifications are only as good as the results they bring to clients like you.

Click below to view our client testimonials.