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J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Apr;27(2):287-98.

What do resident physicians know about nutrition? An evaluation of attitudes, self-perceived proficiency and knowledge.

Author information

  • 1Division of General Internal Medicine, Section of Primary Care, Department of Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA. vetterm@uphs.upenn.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Despite the increased emphasis on obesity and diet-related diseases, nutrition education remains lacking in many internal medicine training programs. We evaluated the attitudes, self-perceived proficiency, and knowledge related to clinical nutrition among a cohort of internal medicine interns.

METHODS:

Nutrition attitudes and self-perceived proficiency were measured using previously validated questionnaires. Knowledge was assessed with a multiple-choice quiz. Subjects were asked whether they had prior nutrition training.

RESULTS:

Of the 114 participants, 61 (54%) completed the survey. Although 77% agreed that nutrition assessment should be included in routine primary care visits, and 94% agreed that it was their obligation to discuss nutrition with patients, only 14% felt physicians were adequately trained to provide nutrition counseling. There was no correlation among attitudes, self-perceived proficiency, or knowledge. Interns previously exposed to nutrition education reported more negative attitudes toward physician self-efficacy (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:

Internal medicine interns' perceive nutrition counseling as a priority, but lack the confidence and knowledge to effectively provide adequate nutrition education.

PMID:
18689561
PMCID:
PMC2779722
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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