Online Program

Prevention-focused health care training: A model for educating medical professionals in effective nutrition counseling (UNC Nutrition in Medicine)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Martin Kohlmeier, School of Medicine and School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Washington, DC
Introduction Dietary and related lifestyle factors are critical enabling conditions for the most common chronic illnesses and causes of death in the U.S. Patients and the general public depend on health care professionals to give them correct and effective guidance for better health and disease treatment. Time is at a premium in already overburdened curricula for the necessary training and qualified nutrition educators are often not sufficiently available. Online instruction can potentially fill capacity gaps and target underused student time outside classroom hours. Approach The Nutrition in Medicine on-line training program was developed to address these challenges with up-to-date comprehensive learning modules designed for medical students, residents, and practicing providers to better understand and communicate more effectively with patients to encourage healthier nutritional choices. Results The Nutrition in Medicine materials now reach learners in more than half of all U.S. medical schools as well as in medical residency and other medical training programs. In our recent published survey, U.S. medical schools using the materials provided nearly twice as many hours of required nutrition education as non-participating schools. Anonymous feedback indicates that most students (over 75% of more than 9000 learners) would recommend the materials for others. Discussion While long term affect of this curriculum is not yet known, the short term effect of this strategy is to provide learners with information that increases their comfort and understanding of nutrition. The desired effect is that more providers with better communication strategies could influence patient behaviors and better nutritional choices.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe a comprehensive online learning method for incorporating nutrition training into medical education Demonstrate a scalable model for engaging students in nutrition-based medical education Discuss the effectiveness and challenges of on-line nutrition education

Keyword(s): Nutrition, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Professor of Nutrition and have been teaching and doing research in the area of Nutrition Education for more than 20 years at the University of North Carolina. I am co-investigator of the Nutrition in Medicine initiative and other related programs. I have been published in several peer reviewed journals.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.