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LEARNING/TEACHING
Year : 2001  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 405-415

Attitudes of Physicians and Medical Students toward Nutrition's Place in Patient Care and Education at Ben-Gurion University


1 Certified Clinical Dietitian, S. Daniel A braham International Center for Health and Nutrition, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
2 Director, S. Daniel A braham International Center for Health and Nutrition, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel

Correspondence Address:
Danit Shahar
S. Daniel Abraham International Center for Health and Nutrition, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, POB 653, Beer-Sheva 84105
Israel
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


Objectives: To describe attitudes of physicians and medical students at one medical school toward the role of dietetic treatment in patient care and toward adding nutritional education into the medical school curriculum. Study description: A cross sectional survey was conducted at Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University's School of Medicine. The attitudes of 67 physicians and 62 medical students toward nutritional treatment were determined using an attitudes questionnaire. Results: Despite recommendations in medical treatment protocols to use dietary intervention as the primary treatment for several chronic diseases, physicians did not rate nutritional treatment as the most important treatment for these conditions. Students rated the im portance of nutritional treatment significantly higher for each of the medical conditions presented than did practicing physicians (p=0.001 ). A lm ost 50% of the physicians reported not using nutritional treatment due to lack of time and awareness of the available options. Physicians and students rated the im portance of nutrition education in the curriculum equally. Physicians who rated nutrition treatment as im portant also felt the need to add this subject to the medical education curriculum. Conclusion: Physicians and medical students agreed that dietary treatment and nutrition education are im portant. Our results suggest that there is good reason to introduce nutrition topics into medical school curricula. Improved nutritional knowledge in physicians would improve the teamwork capacity between physicians and dieticians in the realms of curative care and public health.


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