Can Clinical Nutrition Be Effectively Incorporated into Medical School Education?
AuthorMiller, Lauren E.
Agriculture, Nutrition, & Veterinary Science
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With an increased incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity, physicians and health care professionals alike are searching for efficient and cost effective ways of preventing and curing disease. One of the proposed solutions rapidly gaining ground in the healthcare community is that of nutrition and life-style medicine. Research suggests that by adhering to a healthy lifestyle many chronic diseases can be prevented and reversed (Estruch et al., 2013), but further studies suggest that physicians do not feel as though their education in medical school sufficiently prepares them to be able to provide their patients with said nutrition information (Daley et al., 2015, Freidman et al, 2010, Franz et al., 2015). It is the object of this paper to evaluate a proposed tool of including nutrition in medical schools in an efficient and feasible manner. The tool was developed by Dr. Judith Ashley, Associate Professor and nutrition faculty member at the University of Nevada, and involved 3rd year medical students at UCLA downloading and distributing nutrition related handouts to their patients during their internal and family medicine clerkship rotations. Data pertaining to the amount and type of handouts downloaded were analyzed. It was discovered that this tool is a way of introducing nutrition into medical schools without compromising the already crowded medical curricula. If such a tool is included in medical schools nationwide, the inclusion of nutrition education will drastically change the education of practicing physicians and thereby improve the health of the nation.