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”.
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?
IN DENIAL – I MUST BE WRONG!!
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.
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.
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