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Learner-Directed Nutrition Content for Medical Schools to Meet LCME Standards
Deficiencies in medical school nutrition education have been noted since the 1960s. Nutrition-related non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity, are now the most common, costly, and preventable health problems in the US. Training medical students to assess diet and nutritional status and advise patients about a healthy diet, exercise, body weight, smoking, and alcohol consumption are critical to reducing chronic disease risk. Barriers to improving medical school nutrition content include lack of faculty preparation, limited curricular time, and the absence of funding. Several new LCME standards provide important impetus for incorporating nutrition into existingmedical school curriculumas self-directedmaterial. Fortunately, with advances in technology, electronic learning platforms, and web-based modules, nutrition can be integrated and assessed across all four years of medical school at minimal costs to medical schools. Medical educators have access to a self-study nutrition textbook, Medical Nutrition and Disease, Nutrition in Medicine© online modules, and the NHLBI Nutrition Curriculum Guide for Training Physicians. This paper outlines how learner-directed nutrition content can be used to meet several US and Canadian LCME accreditation standards. The health of the nation depends upon future physicians' ability to help their patients make diet and lifestyle changes.
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