It's Not Just About the Pills- Doctors Learn More About Culinary Medicine

I heard a great story on NPR the other day about doctors attending culinary medicine classes at Tulane. You can hear it HERE

I have several friends who are/were in med school and they said the amount of information regarding nutrition was abysmal. Granted, med school is like drinking from a firehose: doctors have to absorb and regurgitate an obscene amount of information. This isn't a jab at the smart men and women who apply themselves to the medical field. 

The opening line of the story sums it up well:

When it comes to premature death and disease, what we eat ranks as the single most important factor, according to a study in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Yet few doctors say they feel properly trained to dispense dietary advice.

The fault, in my non-med school opinion, lies with the curriculum taught at most (if not all) med schools; particularly, as the NPR story points out, because there is a "tsunami of obesity and diabetes" in which food can be either the medicine or the poison. 

As a non-medical professional who works in the health field, my training primarily is in performance and nutrition. I whole-heartedly agree that doctors need more training in those realms. I'm certainly not a silly person who eschews modern medicine, but I do believe if there was more education regarding the impact that diet had on health, we would see a decrease in chronic disease as doctors would feel more comfortable addressing that aspect of patients' lives instead of prescribing medications. I've worked with and helped numerous people feel marvelous just by tweaking their diet. If you haven't read The Ron Reed Project, you should. (Note: the point of the article was to show his fat-loss accomplishment, but his cholesterol went down, his glucose numbers were great, and all the other blood markers that doctors check passed with flying colors.) 

I've mentioned it before, my husband and I both have Lyme disease and have been in treatment for nearly a year now. Yes, we're both taking the pertinent medications to support our bodies and fight those pesky bacteria, but do you know what the first thing our doctor did? She looked at our diets, exercise habits, and sleep habits. We both had dietary changes to make to better support our battle-exhausted immune systems (and she commended us on our exercise habits- our profession calls for no less!). While those changes weren't a magic bullet, I do believe that they helped reduce the overall stress load and allow our bodies to fight more efficiently along with the medications.  

I think it's fantastic that Drs. Oyola and Maker-Clark are heading up this pilot program; step by step and hopefully we'll see a shift in the medical education community! Next task will be education doctors in the benefits of strength and conditioning...