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June 2014

The Neglect of Nutrition in Medical Education: A Firsthand Look

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(6):841-842. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.839

Despite an obesity epidemic and the increasing burden of chronic, diet-related disease in the United States, medical schools have continued to neglect nutrition education over the last several decades. In August 2013, I saw this neglect firsthand. As a second-year medical student, I completed the Introduction to Clinical Nutrition course at the school I attend. My classmates and I had encountered occasional nutrition content in other places: lipid metabolism in biochemistry, vitamin absorption in gastrointestinal physiology, and some talks hosted by student clubs. But we had yet to receive focused teaching in nutrition, along with most other topics that address patient lifestyle.

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