My interest in nutrition medicine began during my first year as a doctor. I was treating patients with basic and complex nutritional needs; from those needing dietary advice to support their chronic conditions, to those requiring treatment for complications of their feeding tubes. It puzzled me why I wasn’t given more teaching in these areas as a student. I then undertook a year as a Clinical Teaching Fellow at the University of Bristol. In collaboration with the Nutrition and Dietetics department at The Great Western Hospital in Swindon, I designed and ran a teaching programme for medical students based on the essentials of nutritional education. Due to the success of the programme we undertook a study regarding the learning outcomes, the results of which were presented at several conferences including an oral presentation at the ASME (Association for the Study of Medical Education) conference. The programme continues to run at Swindon today.
It was around the time I was working on the nutrition programme that I became aware of Nutritank’s work. The enthusiasm they have to improve lifestyle and nutrition education was evident on meeting with Iain and Ally, it is exactly what medicine needs. Nutrition education for medical students has been a long neglected area, something which frustrates students, doctors, dieticians and patients alike but seeing Nutritank’s current and future plans, it will fast become an exciting and important area within the curriculum.