Do Med school classes consist of nutrition courses?

This was a question I asked myself when I got home from a doctors visit a few months ago. I became annoyed with my doctor after she told me my daughter and I “need grains for proper nutrition” and “we should be eating them”.Med school classes photo.jpg

She went on to say “it’s unlikely anyone is intolerant to grains such as rice, it’s just not common.” My decision to stop eating grains was not made just for the fun of it, clearly she thinks it was.

Quick background of why I went gluten/grain free

In 2007 I went to my doctors with a whole host of problems, stomach pain, joint pain, headaches.. She diagnosed me with Irritable Bowel Sydrome told me to eat more fibre and sent me off to see a rheumatologist for my pain.

I took her advice seriously and loaded up on whole grains.. this resulted in symptoms that only worsened. Confused and in pain, I looked up the cause of IBS and found that food intolerances might be the cause. Something my doctor never told me…

It took a few years to pin point which foods did and didn’t cause my problems. Once I discovered it was in fact food intolerances, my pains went away(all of them), I lost faith in my doctor but I gave her the benefit of the doubt, maybe she just didn’t know this so I figured if I told her how I was eating, she would be proud of me and say I’m doing good for finding the root cause of my problem. Imagine my amazement when my doctor informed me that I should be eating these foods, I NEED them for energy and proper nutrition.. I couldn’t believe a doctor would say these things to me. I was shocked, I was saddened, I was confused.

What do Medical Schools teach our doctors?

I searched the course curriculums of several Canadian medical schools. I couldn’t find any obvious courses in nutrition for a general practitioner. I clearly must be wrong, I’m not reading the course information properly, I’m not looking at the right information.

Sure they learn biochemistry and the basics of how food is processed in the body but I kept looking for proof that doctors, the people we go to for health advice, the people who tell us what we should and shouldn’t be eating, what we should be feeding our children learn about nutrition! Afterall, isn’t the most common health problem obesity and weight related illnesses?


I didn’t research much more than this, at that point I didn’t have time but this is something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a few months now. Waiting for the opportunity to speak with someone, a doctor friend or someone that I meet eventually that’s been to medical school. I was positive I must be wrong!

THEN I came across a blog post the other day by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, actually it’s a post on his blog by a medical student who has been job shadowing Dr. Freedhoof.

Dr. Yoni Freedhoof is a family doctor here in Ottawa, he is also an Assistant Prof. at the University of Ottawa, and founder of the Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute, he also has a very popular health/nutrition blog.

READ Medical Student, Jill Trinacty’s Blog Post here!!

A student of medicine, who wanted to learn about obesity and nutrition, had to take it UPON HERSELF to go above and beyond and learn something that should have been taught to her in year 1 of Medical school! I don’t know about you but I think this is AWFUL!!!

I commend people like Jill Trinacty who realize the importance of learning about nutrition and the role it plays in obesity and her future patients health. It should be mandatory for all students, for all doctors, to learn the basics of nutrition. We go to them for advice, assuming they know the answer. They should know the right answers.

You can read a few articles on this topic HERE or HERE.

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Tiana MacLeod




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  1. Undead Ahead says:

    I really don’t trust doctors. Were they right in saying you have IBS? My Mom also has it and can’t eat or drink certain things. Orange juice and some fruits trigger it for her.

    • tialee11 says:

      I still go to the same doctor, but I don’t talk about nutrition with her. She mentions food, I change the subject. I think doctors have no place giving nutritional advice.. yet they still do. Seems very ignorant. If they don’t know they should send you to someone who does.. a specialist – nutritionist.. yet they still think they are qualified to answer those questions. THAT annoys me. I was tell her her about gluten free when I first had problems with it, I had to explain to her how the testing worked.. she didn’t even know what tests were the right ones. I went down to the lab for testing and they had to call her to ask her for permission to do the test I was asking for cause she wrote something else on the sheet

  2. Amanda L says:

    You need a new doctor! Lol! I’ve gone through a couple… I was diagnosed with IBS as well and was told to take Metamucil. That was the extent of the advice I got. Many months later after tons of research, I went paleo. After ‘cheating’ a few times, I discovered I was gluten intolerant and mentioned it to my doctor. He rolled his eyes and asked me if I knew how hard it was to go gluten free. I was giggling since I’d already been doing it a couple of months. Anyway, I moved and got a new doctor. I mentioned paleo to him and he actually knew what it was! He said good for you! He said he loved his pasta and could never eat that way himself, but that paleo was probably the healthiest way you can eat! He’s a keeper!

    • tialee11 says:

      I wish I was that lucky, it’s hard to find new doctors here.. most are full with patients and now that I live in the country there’s not many around here.. I will stick with mine until I can come across a new one that is on the right page. My chiropractor is helpful since he started eating paleo.. I wish my doc was more open to new information but unfortunately she’s the older generation. Set in her ways. I think a lot of doctors don’t like to be proved wrong and like the power that comes with the title, they dish out information and because they’re a doctor think it’s useful and correct but they just don’t know any better. It’s very unfortunate but hopefully some day I’ll find a better doc. She rolled her eyes when I told her I went to a naturopath too..ahwell. Like I said I don’t talk nutrition with her ever anymore. And I’ll keep it that way I’m sure.. If anyone knows any paleo docs in Ottawa, Canada that take new patients haha that would be awesome!

      • tialee11 says:

        As an update, I found myself a new doctor. She is closer to where I live and my little family all switched to her, I haven’t gone to see her yet so we will see how it goes. Hopefully she’s much better than my last one.

      • Amanda L says:

        That’s great that you found a new doctor! Hopefully she’s supportive of paleo. I live in Ottawa too! I live in the west end and my doctor is part of the Rideau Valley Heath Centre. I know they’re taking new patients since they’re a new clinic.

      • tialee11 says:

        I really hope she’s supportive of Paleo too, if nothing else she is much closer to where I live so I won’t have to take time off work to go see her.. I live in Limoges and my old doctor was in the West end of Ottawa, was a pain when I had to take my daughter there for an appointment then drive her back home to bring her to her daycare. Where’s the Rideau Valley Health Centre, are they supportive of Paleo? My chiropractor on Fisher is doing Paleo so he’s very supportive of it..which helps.

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