Nutrition in medical education: reflections from an initiative at the University of Cambridge
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Landmark reports have confirmed that it is within the core responsibilities of doctors to address nutrition in patient care. There are ongoing concerns that doctors receive insufficient nutrition education during medical training. This paper provides an overview of a medical nutrition education initiative at the University of Cambridge, School of Clinical Medicine, including 1) the approach to medical nutrition education, 2) evaluation of the medical nutrition education initiative, and 3) areas identified for future improvement. The initiative utilizes a vertical, spiral approach during the clinically focused years of the Cambridge undergraduate and graduate medical degrees. It is facilitated by the Nutrition Education Review Group, a group associated with the UK Need for Nutrition Education/Innovation Programme, and informed by the experiences of their previous nutrition education interventions. Three factors were identified as contributing to the success of the nutrition education initiative including the leadership and advocacy skills of the nutrition academic team, the variety of teaching modes, and the multidisciplinary approach to teaching. Opportunities for continuing improvement to the medical nutrition education initiative included a review of evaluation tools, inclusion of nutrition in assessment items, and further alignment of the Cambridge curriculum with the recommended UK medical nutrition education curriculum. This paper is intended to inform other institutions in ongoing efforts in medical nutrition education.
Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare
© 2014 Ball et al, publisher and licencee Dove Medical Press Ltd. This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified