Is More Nutrition Education Needed in the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum? : Perceptions of graduates from a medical university in the United Arab Emirates

Kadayam G. Gomathi, Syed I. Shehnaz, Nelofer Khan

Abstract


Objectives: The rise in lifestyle diseases has resulted in primary physicians advising more patients on the benefits of nutritional modifications. However, nutrition education has remained more or less unchanged in the undergraduate medical curriculum. This study aimed to assess the perceptions of medical graduates regarding nutrition education in their undergraduate curriculum. Methods: A total of 125 medical graduates from the Gulf Medical University in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, were invited to participate in an anonymous online survey from May to October 2012. The validated pilot-tested questionnaire was designed to assess perceptions regarding nutrition education in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Results:A total of 65 medical graduates responded to the survey, of which 55% were female. Of the respondents, 32% were general physicians and 68% were specialists in various disciplines. Nutrition education was perceived to be very important by 80% of the respondents; however, 78.5% felt that they had not received adequate instruction in this field during their undergraduate medical curriculum. The major areas of deficit identified were in the categories of clinical nutrition, nutrition in primary care and evidence-based nutrition. Conclusion: In this study, Gulf Medical University graduates perceived a need for more nutrition-related instruction in their undergraduate medical curriculum. The areas of deficit identified in this study could help in future curricular improvements.

Keywords: 

Keywords


Nutritional Sciences; Undergraduate Medical Education; Curriculum; United Arab Emirates.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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