Nutrition Education In Medical Schools: Mind The Gap!
If you’ve travelled on the underground “Tube” in London, you’ve no doubt heard the expression “mind the gap” for the dangerous 6″ space in between the cars and the platform. It turns out there are dangerous gaps elsewhere that affect each of us every day.
Fact: Nutrition, with all it’s promises and proof to bless our health, is not a well-studied topic in medical schools.
Fact: Our own personal doctors have told us at different times that “diet doesn’t matter.” For years we trusted dermatologists who told us that food had “nothing to do” with our teenager’s severe acne problems. Not one of my doctors has led me to diet intervention for my osteoperosis, although its a well-documented recourse over drugs.
While this has been frustrating, we assumed it was just our own doctors as we have learned more on our own about healthy eating and applied it to our daily lives. Our doctors in Tennessee were impressed and complimentary about our health, but not at all interested in learning more about whole-food plant-based eating.
Hmmmmm. Then it all came together one night at our Monday Night Vegetarian Supper Club lecture: Nutrition education and intervention is not really taught in medical schoools!
I was shocked when I first heard this! I came home and researched the Google phrase “Nutrition Education in medical schools” and there’s an impressive list of articles over the past several years. If you’re interested, I encourage you to do the same thing.
An excellent summary can be found here:
How Much Do Doctors Learn About Nutrition
U.S. News and World Report
CLICK HERE TO READ:
On average, U.S. Medical schools offer only 19.5 hours of nutrition education across four years of medical school. Much of that is integrated into other science and chemistry classes, so students come out feeling unprepared to counsel on diet and nutrition.
A survey by the National Library of Medicine at NIH in 2017 among medical students, residents and physcians were interviewed and felt, overall, that nutrition was poorly integrated into the curriculum. They witnessed little nutrition counseling during their training and felt that the little information that was offered to them and the patients they shadowed was outdated and incorrect.
And older study at NIH is also very interesting! CLICK HERE
It should be understood that doctors are not “bad guys.” Rather, they are trained to see their role and responsiblity to “treat” disease rather than “prevent” it, even though diet in treating many diseases is more effective than medicine.
We need to remember that what they are trained to do is to refer their patients to a dietician.
What matters most is that we are responsible for our own health, habits and choices.
Fact: Excellent advice on nutrition is free and easy to come by! The information and healthy eating plans at websites such as www.forksoverknives.com, www.drmcdougall.com and www.nutritionstudies.org are a great place to start! There are lots of recipes, testimonials and short, easy-to-read articles to beat many common diseases, acheive a healthy weight and more.
Whether our doctors are interested or agree is often another matter, which is why we are making a doctor who supports whole-food plant-based eating a priority.