The Gaples Institute, along with a group of other top nutrition educators, previously authored a paper spotlighting the current deficiency of nutrition education in medical training.
The next step, to change the status quo and infuse meaningful nutrition education into all phases of training, was the the purpose of a Gaples Institute initiated meeting at Harvard earlier this month.
Key Harvard faculty with backgrounds in nutrition science, health policy, and education met with Dr. Devries to identify opportunities to enhance the current paucity of nutrition in clinical medicine.
Areas felt most likely to impact the development of enhanced nutrition education curriculum in medical training include:
- adding clinically relevant nutrition questions to certifying and board exams (thereby requiring that nutrition be taught in order to pass these exams)
- revising accreditation standards so that nutrition education is required in all physician training programs. Currently, the accreditation document for physician training programs in internal medicine and cardiology, containing over 30 pages of detailed requirements, fail to mention a single word about nutrition.
- exploring the possibility that Medicare, responsible for funding hospital based physician training programs in the amount of over $3 billion per year, require that nutrition education be part of the curriculum for all programs that receive such funding-an excellent investment to promote low cost interventions for improved health!
Action items are in progress for all of these areas-with much more to come!