How much has changed in 25 years?

Not too much apparently…  In 1985 the National Academy of Sciences recommended 25 hours of nutritional education in Medical School.  So do we make the cut??

A survey was sent out between ~2008/9 to all the accredited U.S. medical schools, and it featured questions about the nutrition curriculum.  About 86% responded, and of those, only 27% met the “required” 25 hours of nutritional education.  Furthermore, although the average time spent on nutritional education was 19.6 hrs, this ranged from 0-70 hours… Talk about a huge difference.  Although it says these 25 hours are required…are they actually required?  I did some digging and no where could I find an actual requirement from the LCME about this (perhaps I only have limited access from what I can gather from google), but there is clearly a disconnect between what some consider “required” hours and others consider “recommendations.”

There have been a lot of ideas about how to promote nutrition education among medical students, and some of the key problems that have been raised are the lack of trained physicians available to teach these nutrition courses, feelings that nutrition is a “soft science” and time should be spent on other subjects, limited funding, etc.  I found a couple papers that mentioned an online program in nutrition that has been used at some medical schools, so I’ll be researching that more and will let you know what I find!

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