Reforms Suggested for Improving Medical Nutrition Education

Enhancing physician training will up engagement in diet counseling for patients with ASCVD
Enhancing physician training will up engagement in diet counseling for patients with ASCVD

(HealthDay News) — Enhancing physician education and training in nutrition is expected to improve engagement in diet counseling for outpatients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), according to an American Heart Association science advisory published online April 30 in Circulation.

Noting that physicians engage patients in diet counseling at less than desirable rates and cite insufficient knowledge and training as barriers, Karen E. Aspry, M.D., from Brown University in East Greenwich, R.I., and colleagues address improving medical nutrition education and training to advance diet counseling.

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The authors note that major reforms in undergraduate and graduate medical education (UME and GME) are providing novel ways to increase medical nutrition education and training. Reforms support and aim to facilitate more robust nutrition education and training, making use of multi-dimensional curricula, pedagogies, technologies, and competency-based assessments. Since nutrition is a dynamic science, with an evolving evidence base, the necessary competencies should provide a foundation and flexible options for advanced knowledge across the continuum of learning. To improve UME and GME in nutrition, the authors recommend integration of formal learning with practical, experiential, inquiry-driven, inter-professional, and population health management activities.

"Nutrition is a dynamic science with a rapidly evolving evidence base requiring continual updating and renewed translational efforts," a coauthor said in a statement. "The competencies outlined in this statement provide a foundation with flexible options for advancing nutrition knowledge and skills across the learning continuum, and a toolkit for medical school curriculum directors, program directors, faculty, trainees, and students."

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