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Enabling Valuation of Nutrition Integration into MBBS Program
Good nutrition is the foundation for good health. While basic nutritional assessment is part of many medical consultations, it remains underutilized despite becoming increasingly recognized as important for chronic disease prevention and management. Many studies identify shortfalls in physicians' knowledge and attitudes toward nutrition as a result of inadequate emphasis in medical school. Additional teaching about nutrition and nutritional assessment procedures was integrated within a first year module of a MBBS program. Blended learning techniques were employed to facilitate student engagement and sessions were evaluated via student response system technology (clickers) or minute paper feedback. The initial survey to all medical students (n=1037) documented that less than half (45%) felt they could discuss nutrition with patients. The majority (n=606) regularly consulted the internet for nutrition information, while only 163 utilised peer-reviewed journals. With the first year cohort (n=297) "clickers" revealed that 91% felt nutrition important to health care and 82% felt it important in general practice. 71% found using clickers an interesting enhancement, whilst 70%noted the nutrition content informative. Early nutrition teaching was well received by students. Long-term increases in nutritional information dissemination, particularly by influential health care workers, might benefit not only economies but also the health of society as a whole.
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