Do you believe doctors should teach nutrition instead of pharmecudical addiction?

  1. Pollution and parasites. Two big terms to cover the causative factors of human dis-ease. Right food choices can heal...yet hospital food is highly processed and full of chemicals and doctors continue to focus on what conventional treatment they can use to cure the symptoms of imbalance. Do you think it is time for doctors to address whole nutrition as a means of healing?
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    14 Comments

  3. by   mercyteapot
    I think more emphasis should be put on nutrition as a means of prevention, so yes, in an ideal world, doctors would have the time to address the importance of good nutrition. Nutrition should be an adjunct therapy when it comes to the treatment of most major disease, though, IMHO.
  4. by   Katnip
    Back in the day when I was taking a nutrition class for prerqs we were told that only 7 medicals schools even offered a semester in nutrition. It was left to the nurses and dieticians to teach healthful eating habits. Supposedly more med schools were going to add this to their curriculae.
  5. by   rn/writer
    It's a good idea in theory, but the docs can't teach what they haven't learned. Diet and nutrition are hardly mentioned in most med schools. It's much easier to let everything fall to pieces and then try to put it all back together again. As in so many other areas, what will probably drive the turn-around is patients showing an interest and asking for the info.

    Another problem is that a good percentage of the docs themselves are not very good examples. Long residency hours lead to a lot of skipped meals and junk food. Even so, as more attention is paid to better nutrition and healthier living, each succeeding crop of MDs stands a greater chance of becoming aware of the importance of this subject.

    Sports medicine docs may have a leg up on their colleagues when it comes to eating right, as many of them are athletes and they see the effects of their dietary choices.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Sep 6, '06
  6. by   Antikigirl
    We have a dietitian department in the hospital, and they do have classes for patients all the time! The trick is...telling patients about it!

    Many times I will ask an MD to order a nutritionist to discuss things with the patient while they are in hospital so they can take that information with them when they go home/facilities. So far so great! I really tried hard to find out what services our hospital provides and suggest them...that is a really good way of helping in this!

    Many of the docs I know don't have the nutritional education needed to tell a patient what to do besides...lower this and increase that in your diet. That is somewhat helpful, but how about HOW to do that! I have also suggested some websites to patients for healthy recipes that can help with certain diets. YOu can find them under the ADA, AHA, and what not! I can also teach lable reading when I have time, or I have a print out I can give that really explains things, and I tell them to take it shopping at least once..and they will be suprised! So far I have been told they were suprised! LOL!

    We need to take a proactive stance in this as nurses, and I find informing a pt or pts family on where to get the information or services is at least one more tool to helping pts out once they are home/facility. It is up to the pt to use them, but at least I show the way they can take to get the info!
  7. by   subee
    Quote from TriageRN_34
    We have a dietitian department in the hospital, and they do have classes for patients all the time! The trick is...telling patients about it!

    Many times I will ask an MD to order a nutritionist to discuss things with the patient while they are in hospital so they can take that information with them when they go home/facilities. So far so great! I really tried hard to find out what services our hospital provides and suggest them...that is a really good way of helping in this!

    Many of the docs I know don't have the nutritional education needed to tell a patient what to do besides...lower this and increase that in your diet. That is somewhat helpful, but how about HOW to do that! I have also suggested some websites to patients for healthy recipes that can help with certain diets. YOu can find them under the ADA, AHA, and what not! I can also teach lable reading when I have time, or I have a print out I can give that really explains things, and I tell them to take it shopping at least once..and they will be suprised! So far I have been told they were suprised! LOL!

    We need to take a proactive stance in this as nurses, and I find informing a pt or pts family on where to get the information or services is at least one more tool to helping pts out once they are home/facility. It is up to the pt to use them, but at least I show the way they can take to get the info!

    But hospitals should be pro-active in the nutritional area. Patients should be served the kinds of foods they should be eating at home. They just serve the cheapest food they can get away with and I guess it will never change until the patients ask for better k-rations. White bread, jello and canned vegetables - its like jail. But at least they haven't given the concession to McDonalds yet.
  8. by   Tweety
    Our society needs a paradigm shift. MDs need to teach more nutrition. And the public needs to buy into the idea that good nutrition equals more health. It doesn't matter how much an MD tells you to eat more fruits and vegetables, if the public doesn't buy into it, and right now they don't since most people eat 1-2 a day, it's not going to mean anything.
  9. by   AggieNurse99
    Just another perspective.... one of the reasons why hospital food has to be so cheap is because it is a non-billable department. The budget for most food services is worked in the room and board, along with nursing care. At my old hospital, our food budget was ~$5.00 per patient PER DAY, so of course the food is not the highest quality. But where do we get the money? Many Dietary Services are non-billable d/t no physician order, i.e. a consult for food preferences for a noncompliant NAS, Low Fat diet. Its overhead. A corporate culture that does not emphasize wholesome, nutritious food as part of 'healing' will not put their money into a non-revenue-generating department.
  10. by   Josh L.Ac.
    I'm actually torn on this issue. At my alma mater, the ND students learned nutrition as part of the curriculum, but the volume [edit: of other modalities, basic sciences, and patient care - not nutrition] of what they learned paled in comparison to that of a regular medical school.

    There also was a nutrition program at Bastyr that focused on whole-foods nutrition, which my ex-wife went through. Her opinion is that the doctors should be familiar enough with nutrition to know when to refer a patient to a whole-foods nutritionist.

    I'm inclined to agree, which makes one of the few times my ex-wife and I were on the same page.
    Last edit by Josh L.Ac. on Sep 6, '06
  11. by   ICRN2008
    Quote from Tweety
    Our society needs a paradigm shift. MDs need to teach more nutrition. And the public needs to buy into the idea that good nutrition equals more health. It doesn't matter how much an MD tells you to eat more fruits and vegetables, if the public doesn't buy into it, and right now they don't since most people eat 1-2 a day, it's not going to mean anything.
    I agree that there needs to be more nutrition education, but I disagree that physicians should be the ones to do this. My mother is a registered dietitian, and she has a BS in nutrition along with about 12 graduate credits completed during her year-long residency. She has been doing outpatient weight management and diabetes teaching for almost twenty years, and she spent ten years before that in the inpatient setting. She has many strategies for helping her patients incorporate healthy eating habits into their lives, because she knows how to work WITH them instead of just telling them what to do. It is people like her that should be doing the nutrition education!

    In addition, RDs are much better educated about nutrition than physicians, and from what I am told they also are much better at keeping up with the latest research and new advances. My mother has related to me (and I have experienced firsthand) that some of the nutrition information provided by physicians is not evidence-based in the best of circumstances, and just flat out wrong in the worst cases.
    Last edit by ICRN2008 on Sep 6, '06
  12. by   Tweety
    Quote from BSNDec06
    I agree that there needs to be more nutrition education, but I disagree that physicians should be the ones to do this. My mother is a registered dietitian, and she has a BS in nutrition along with about 12 graduate credits completed during her year-long residency.

    Good point and I agree. Let me rephrase. MDs need to prescribe nutritional therapies and consult more RD's and insurance needs to pay for it.

    How many perscriptions have you seen for hypertension read "RD consult for hypertention - high fiber, high potassium/low sodium diet with weight loss goal of 50 pounds." Instead of "Norvasc 5 mg daily".

    MD's need to be involved in the paradigm shift. We as a public need to get away from wanting a pill to cure us, but can go for nutrition/weight loss first.

    But I agree, for education and follow up, the RD is the one to see.
    Last edit by Tweety on Sep 6, '06
  13. by   ZASHAGALKA
    In addition to: yes.

    Instead of: no.

    To the extent that scientifically validated homeopathic and nutritional treatments augment other scientifically validated treatments: great.

    To the extent that they are advocated as replacements for such therapies: dangerous.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  14. by   Tweety
    I agree Timothy.

    Staying on the topic of nutrition (we could go way off tangent with alternative vs. medical therapies), it's more of a preventative measure we all need to be taking, rather than a treatment for disease for the most part. However as I stated above, a revamped diet and weight just might get a person off of medication, or keep a person off medication, or allow them to be on medication only for the short term until some changes occur. We've all read stories of someone who last 100 lbs and got off diabetic and hypertensive medications.

    I like the medical model. I studied it, and I nurse by it. I think though we could do better utilizing all knowledge we have and incorporating it, rather than replacing it.

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