Doctors Need More Nutrition Training

Nutrition experts say American physicians are undertrained when it comes to issues of nutrition and health. The authority whom patients most wish to consult for information on health -- their physician -- remains insufficiently informed about the role of diet in the prevention and treatment of disease,"concludes a recently convened panel of US nutrition experts known as the Intersociety Professional Nutrition Education Consortium. Its prime directive is to raise the level of nutrition education at US medical schools."

The report's authors point out that less than 6% of medical school graduates now receive adequate nutrition training. Despite the fact that the US Congress in 1990 mandated better nutrition education in all US medical schools, it remains inadequate.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1998;68.

COMMENT: Health is a complex integration of physical, emotional and spiritual elements. It is clear that nutrition is the foundation of physical health. I believe it is a sad tragedy that most physicians are so uninformed about the basics of how to stay healthy and about the more critical concern for integrating a spiritual foundation that will support them and their patients. It is even worse than this article suggests as this journal is a traditional nutritional journal that is relatively unaware of most of the innovative nutritional therapies.

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