Attitudes of physicians and medical students toward nutrition's place in patient care and education at Ben-Gurion University

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13 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe attitudes of physicians and medical students at one medical school toward the role of dietetic treatment in patient care and toward adding nutritional education into the medical school curriculum. Study description: A cross sectional survey was conducted at Soroka University Medical Center and Ben-Gurion University's School of Medicine. The attitudes of 67 physicians and 62 medical students toward nutritional treatment were determined using an attitudes questionnaire. Results: Despite recommendations in medical treatment protocols to use dietary intervention as the primary treatment for several chronic diseases, physicians did not rate nutritional treatment as the most important treatment for these conditions. Students rated the importance of nutritional treatment significantly higher for each of the medical conditions presented than did practicing physicians (p=0.001). Almost 50% of the physicians reported not using nutritional treatment due to lack of time and awareness of the available options. Physicians and students rated the importance of nutrition education in the curriculum equally. Physicians who rated nutrition treatment as important also felt the need to add this subject to the medical education curriculum. Conclusion: Physicians and medical students agreed that dietary treatment and nutrition education are important. Our results suggest that there is good reason to introduce nutrition topics into medical school curricula. Improved nutritional knowledge in physicians would improve the teamwork capacity between physicians and dieticians in the realms of curative care and public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-415
Number of pages11
JournalEducation for Health: Change in Learning and Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2001


  • Attitudes
  • Dietary treatment
  • Knowledge
  • Nutrition education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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