Research shows 80 percent of the chronic diseases affecting Americans relate directly to inadequate nutrition. Yet most doctors only receive a few hours of training regarding this complex subject of study.
Certainly, they can’t even begin to teach their patients how to prevent and reverse disease with nutrition if they never learn it themselves…
But apparently, in the U.K., they’re attempting to remedy this dire situation…
Doctors call for change
In the U.K., medical students receive only 10 to 24 hours of instruction on diet and nutrition during the five to six years of their training. (I’d say I received even less here in the U.S. — I estimate it was about four to six hours during my six years of medical training. Fortunately, I personally was able to get years of needed training in nutrition for my Ph.D. in biomedical anthropology.)
But in 2016, a number of influential doctors in the U.K. finally grew frustrated with this lack of training. So, they wrote to the major organizations — the U.K. General Medical Council, the Medical Schools Council, and the Secretary of Health calling for more training in diet- and lifestyle-based interventions.
According to Dr. Michael Mosley, host of a BBC health news program, this lack of training manifests itself in private practice. He said, “I don’t get the sense that there are lots of doctors out there who feel empowered to tell patients much about nutrition.”
This reluctance to tell patients what to eat does not just illustrate the “British reserve” their culture is known for.
By contrast, U.S. medical students, despite their nutritional ignorance, apparently feel no such reluctance to tell their patients what to eat, as I reported in the April issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. (You can revisit this article by logging into the Subscribers Sign-In via www.DrMicozzi.com. Not a subscriber? Start today by clicking here.)
In fact, according to a number of surveys, nearly all graduating medical students in the U.S. intend to give their patients nutritional advice. But only a tiny minority of them could actually pass a basic undergraduate nutrition quiz!
Ending the downfall of nutritional education
The British are making waves in other ways as well…
In fact, in June 2018, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) will launch a new journal on nutrition.
Of course, I’m hopeful this publication will provide a platform for important nutritional research. But, in my view, the BMJ has always been more concerned about politics than science, at least when it comes to nutrition and dietary supplementation.
In fact, almost every study published in BMJ that demonstrates the importance of dietary supplementation is accompanied by an editorial that seems to backtrack away from the study’s actual findings. And they almost always dismissively conclude it’s “still too soon” for doctors to recommend dietary supplementation.
Dr. Fiona Godlee, the BMJ editor-in-chief said, “It’s time we recognized that food and nutrition are core to health. There is a growing body of research out there that needs to be published — and we want to contribute to that effort.”
Gee, you think, Dr. Godlee?
She’s simply stating what’s been obvious for decades in western mainstream medicine. (And for centuries in Chinese, Indian, and naturopathic medicine.)
I certainly hope these developments in the U.K. will inspire some change in the U.S.
In my view, the continued lack of nutritional training for doctors in the U.S. is a huge part of our ever-worsening health crisis. And it brings to mind the conclusion to the Oscar-winning movie version (1956) of Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days.
At the end of their journey of exploration, Phineas Fogg (David Niven) and his sidekick Jean Passepartout crash — literally and figuratively — the stuffy British Empire Club in the company of an Indian princess (Shirley MacLaine).
The Club President, played by Robert Morley, drops his monocle, saying simply, “This is the end.”
In the end, you can’t count on your doctor to counsel you about good nutrition. But you can learn more about it by continuing to tune into the Daily Dispatch. And if you haven’t yet become a subscriber to my in-depth Insiders’ Cures newsletter, now’s the perfect time to get started!
“We learn nothing about nutrition, claim medical students,” BBC News (bbc.com) 3/25/2018