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Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2016 Oct;15:69-74. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2016.06.005. Epub 2016 Jun 23.

Clinical nutrition in primary care: An evaluation of resident physicians' attitudes and self-perceived proficiency.

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Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges, Claremont, CA, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Ambulatory and Community Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; Institute of Primary Health Care (BIHAM), University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Electronic address:
Department of Ambulatory and Community Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland. Electronic address:
Department of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland. Electronic address:



There is little information regarding the impact of clinical nutrition training among medical residents. We aimed to evaluate the attitudes, self-perceived proficiency and knowledge of Swiss residents regarding clinical nutrition.


Cross-sectional study conducted between June and September 2014 in two medical education facilities located in Lausanne, Switzerland. Attitudes, self-perceived proficiency and knowledge regarding clinical nutrition were assessed by questionnaire.


Of the 88 internal medicine residents queried, 44 (50% response rate, 25 women, mean age 34 ± 4 years) answered the questionnaire. Three quarters of the residents were trained in Switzerland and one third reported receiving some training in clinical nutrition. Seven out of ten (70.5%) residents agreed that all doctors should know how to provide nutrition-based assessment, no matter what their specialty. Conversely, only one out of ten (11.4%) felt that physicians were adequately trained. No differences were found between genders or country of training regarding the answers provided.


Residents in Lausanne perceive clinical nutrition in primary care as a priority but lack the confidence and training to effectively use clinical nutrition in their daily practice.


Clinical nutrition; Cross-sectional study; Knowledge; Residents; Switzerland

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