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Monday, October 4, 2010

We Don't Know Anything About it, Okay?

American Scofflaw

Most people probably assume that their doctors know everything there is to know about health because, after all, they went through many years of medical school. But according to a recent New York Times piece written by a doctor, most medical schools teach few, if any, courses in nutrition, and most students graduate and become doctors with no sense of how nutrition plays a vital role in maintaining good health.

Even though most of the chronic diseases people face are related to poor diet, medical school training focuses largely on drugs, surgical procedures and other reactionary interventions instead. In fact, some medical schools do not even teach a single course in nutrition.

Back in the mid-1980s, the National Academy of Sciences published a report about the lack of nutrition education in medical schools, and advised that such schools begin offering at least 25 hours in nutrition education to their students. But a recent study published in Academic Medicine, a Journal of the Association of American Medical College, reveals that conditions have either remained unchanged or actually gotten worse.

"Nutrition is really a core component of modern medical practice," emphasized Kelly M. Adams, registered dietitian at UNC and lead author of the study. "[Students] aren't getting enough [nutrition] instruction while in medical school."

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