Teaching nutrition to medical doctors: the potential role of the State Registered Dietitian
Medical doctors ought to have a sound knowledge of nutrition, but it is clear that most do not. Teaching nutrition to medical doctors should start during undergraduate training. Dietitians have a vital role to play—acting as consultants for the course, in formulating learning objectives, teaching, organizing practical sessions, assisting with clinical demonstrations and writing exam questions. Dietitians could also be encouraged to become more involved in the clinical training of medical students by assuming a more active role in the provision of seminars, grand rounds, clinical case presentations and conferences. Finally, dietitians may attract more medical doctors to nutrition conferences and meetings if these are registered for CME (continuing medical education) and PGEA (postgraduate education allowance). The dietitian has a unique role and responsibility for teaching nutrition to medical doctors. The task ahead is a difficult one, but if successful will surely result in improvements to the nutritional status of both patients and the general public.