Dr Penny Neild, a gastroenterologist who works at London’s St George’s Hospital, has spoken out about the poor state of nutrition training in the medical community.
It is argued that many health problems can be avoided if people are advised by medical professionals, namely family doctors, about the need for proper nutrition. It is estimated that up to 25% of people are malnourished to some extent, that is to say, they are lacking in some of the essential nutrients required to maintain a healthy body.
Junior doctors do now cover nutrition as part of their first year of study. However, further training does not continue throughout medical school unless students opt to specialize in nutrition. There are no refresher courses for doctors before they become general practitioners.
However, the General Medical Council do say that there is sufficient nutrition training in medical school and doctors should have the required knowledge to ensure that patients are given proper advice regarding eating a well balanced diet.
Dr. Neild published her concerns in the medical journal Frontline Gastroenterology. Frontline Gastroenterology gives health professionals the information they need to provide the most effective and efficient care for their patients.
Resources and Information:
Dr. Neild’s particular clinical interests lie in functional bowel disorders and nutritional problems and she is closely involved in several influential national bodies:
- Royal College of Physicians Nutrition Committee
- Intercollegiate Group on Nutrition
- British Society of Gastroenterology Small Bowel and Nutrition Committee
- British Association for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (BAPEN) – Honorary Secretary 2004-7