Medical education gets an F for nutrition

Doctor holding vegetables and fruits on a tray

Here’s a fact: According to a study in Journal of the American Medical Association, diet is the number one risk factor disease in the United States. Here’s another fact: A plant-based diet can effectively prevent and treat a number of common diseases, and even some not-so-common ones. What could be more important for doctors to learn about?

However, a recent study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine highlighted the woeful lack of nutrition training in medical school, and in a study of resident physicians, over 90% felt that their training in nutrition was inadequate to meet their needs.

Patients need and want nutritional advice and treatment from their doctors, but doctors, often to their frustration, are taught very little about nutrition in medical school and almost nothing about the effectiveness of a plant-based diet.  All this despite the fact that a plant-based diet can be very effective treatment for many chronic conditions, either used alone in many cases, or combined with medication and surgery in others.

We’ve been hearing complaints from both doctors and patients for years and a few years ago we decided to do something about it:

  1. For the past 4 years we’ve been holding annual seminars for doctors, recently cosponsored by the Washington State Medical Association and approved for continuing medical educational credit by the American Medical Association.
  2. We’ve been regularly publishing articles in medical journals on the power of a plant-based diet to prevent and treat various diseases,
  3. We’ve developed a cutting-edge medical education website, Plant-Based Diets in Medicine, which we’ve just newly redesigned to highlight all our published articles.
Resident class 12.1.16

Stewart Rose speaks to resident physicians in Tacoma

Doctors tell us they want this information. For instance, after we gave a lecture to resident physicians at Tacoma General Hospital, we asked them how many wish this would have been part of their training? Every hand went up!

Doctors want it and patients need them to know this.  Let your doctor know about this great resource.

While the articles on the pbdmedicine.org website are written for doctors and are quite technical, we encourage you to check it out.  If you have a condition that could be treated or prevented with a plant-based diet, you’ll find all the necessary science that your doctor might need. You can print out a copy of the relevant article and show it to them next time you visit. You’ll be doing yourself and other patients a favor when you do.