Recently, the New York Times ran an article written by an M.D. that called out medical schools for failing to teach about nutrition. Twenty-five years after medical journals reported that their students were lacking basic instruction in nutrition courses, nothing has changed. In September, the journal Academic Medicine reported that only 25 percent of medical schools require a dedicated nutrition course. Currently, only 27% of the 105 medical schools meet the national recommendation of 25 hours minimum. This is a drop from 2004, when 38% of responding schools did. From a public health perspective, this isn’t surprising. As our citizens have overall become sicker, medical doctors must focus on their core competency: diagnosing and treating disease.
Can we all agree that if health is on someone’s radar screen, they have questions about nutrition? Are we in agreement that it should be easy to find a licensed health professional with expertise in nutrition? After reading a few health-related magazines, it seems that chiropractors are defined very briefly as providers of spinal manipulations to treat back pain. But as primary care providers, our expertise extends far beyond the spine. Chiropractors need to learn more about nutrition than medical doctors, because we do not use drugs or surgery. My alma mater required 90 hours of dedicated nutrition coursework. After reviewing my list of continuing education courses, I’ve completed 81 hours beyond that, in nutrition alone. You be the judge: if you have questions about nutrition, who would you ask?
If you want to create a 100-year lifestyle, be proactive about your health. Your health care team isn’t complete without a wellness-oriented provider!