Embedding nutrition into medical education

Professor Caryl Nowson is leading the charge to improve nutrition education at Australian medical schools. She speaks to Amanda Davey about a new web-based nutrition toolkit for undergraduates.

Why do Australian medical schools need a nutrition tool?

Many doctors are ill-equipped to identify and manage the nutritional needs of their patients. They’ve had to rely on the popular press for nutrition information, which isn’t always correct. So, one of the things that we do with our course is to give them the skills to evaluate the evidence-base to make the right the decision.

How does the new tool work?

It will be integrated into case-based learning without adding lectures to the curriculum. It has four different components including a set of learning outcomes, a web-based nutrition curriculum mapping tool for medical schools to review and map the nutrition content and assessments, examplars of nutrition competency assessment tools and a collation of web-based nutrition education resources.

What is it called?

We call it WNCIT, or the Web-based Nutritional Competency Implementation Toolkit.

Is your toolkit now being implemented in entry level medical courses?