Why do medical schools do such a poor job teaching students about nutrition and nutrients?

This is not only a very common patient complaint, but doctors and medschool professors themselves have voiced concern about the scant instruction that doctors receive regarding nutrition, nutrient management, and so on.

I recall a study in JAMA in which a rather depressing percentage of surveyed GPs couldn't even recognize the symptoms of various nutrient/mineral deficiencies, which of course can lead to misdiagnosis.

Why is this? What can be done to make sure that new MDs have a thorough background in nutrition, nutrient science, and nutritional management?

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    There is a need for more information, especially those deficiencies that would be mis-diagnosed. We have to absorb an awful lot of information. They may eventually have to add another year to get all the basics in.

    Physicians are becoming a lot more aware of nutrition of late, and are trying to educate themselves.

    In the US, real deficiency diseases are relatively uncommon. You have to go to Africa or India to see severe deficiencies. Those physicians I know who have volunteered in Africa are very aware of nutrition. On an importance scale of things to know well, deficiency states rate pretty low in the US.

  • Nutrition was screwed up since 1965 I think don't depend on it. I don't know what could happen to fix that.

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