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Public Health Rep. 1994 Nov-Dec; 109(6): 824–826.
PMCID: PMC1403588
The report to Congress on the appropriate federal role in assuring access by medical students, residents, and practicing physicians to adequate training in nutrition.
C H Davis
Division of Medicine, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration of the Public Health Service, Rockville, MD 20857.
Abstract
The Congress has had a long-time concern about the adequacy of nutrition education provided medical students and physicians during their training. Attempts over three decades to address this deficiency have been largely ineffective. Yet, recent changes in the delivery of health care from inpatient to outpatient services require physicians be competent in both applied nutrition and patient counseling. The importance of patient counseling is underscored by the surveys of the National Center for Health Statistics which reveal that overweight for the U.S. population has increased between the early 60s and the late 80s. These findings suggest that the Healthy People 2000 objective of reducing the prevalence of overweight may not be met. Congress evidenced its concern about the nutrition education in the medical curriculum in Section 302 of the National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act of 1990 that required a report on the subject from the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The Division of Medicine in the Health Resources and Services Administration, an agency of the Public Health Service, responded by compiling the report. The report to Congress focuses on two issues--why it has been so difficult to increase the nutrition content of medical school curriculums and, if the Federal Government intervenes, what strategies might be effective.
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