Original Publication
Open Access

Physician’s Curriculum in Clinical Nutrition: Primary Care

Published: November 29, 2006 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.159

Included in this publication:

  • 2007 Physicians Curriculum In Clinical Nutrition STFM Final Edition 3.doc

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Since 1994, more than half of graduating medical students have ranked their training in nutrition as “inadequate” on the Association of American Medical Colleges graduation questionnaire. Estimates vary, but there is a nutrition-related reason for at least 25% of all visits to primary care. In a country where obesity in children and adults is considered epidemic, only 23% of students feel prepared to assess and manage a patient’s weight. This curriculum guide therefore provides details to implement the American Academy of Family Physician’s recommended core educational guidelines in nutrition. First published by the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine’s group on nutrition in 1982, this physician’s curriculum is updated annually by experienced physician and medical nutrition educators. It includes detailed competencies across the life cycle and disease states, methods for teaching in clerkship and residency training and evaluation, best practices from 12 family medicine residency programs, contact information for 21 faculty willing to mentor others implementing nutrition in medical school or residency programs, resources used by these faculty, and a description of how nutrition education can contribute to competency-based resident evaluation. This curriculum guide represents the best practices of physicians and nutrition faculty in primary care to inform nutrition training for third- and fourth-year medical school and primary care residents. The success of this nutrition curriculum depends on the commitment of a qualified faculty member who can assume responsibility for the development and implementation of it; a physician trained in nutrition is the ideal candidate. Alternatively, a dietitian or nutritionist with at least master’s level training can serve as curriculum coordinator.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this curriculum, learners should be able to demonstrate the skills needed by primary care clinicians for their patient care efforts.

Author Information

  • Kathryn Kolasa, PhD, RD, LDN: The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University

The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine has sold previous editions of this monograph.

None to report.

Prior Presentations
Deen D, Spencer E, Kolasa K.  Nutrition education in family practice residency programs [Society for Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Meeting Workshop]. Fam Med. 2003;35(2):105-111.


Kolasa K. Physician's curriculum in clinical nutrition: primary care. MedEdPORTAL. 2006;2:159. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.159