Medical Science Educator

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 579–583 | Cite as

What Nutrition-Related Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes Should Medical Students Develop?

  • Janet E. Lindsley
  • Emine Ercikan Abali
  • Benjamin T. Bikman
  • Susan D. Cline
  • Tracy Fulton
  • Blanca Lopez
  • Oren D. Rosenthal
  • Virginia E. Uhley
  • Roberta J. Weintraut
  • D. Pauline Williams
  • Jonathan J. Wisco
  • Kathryn Thompson
Short Communication


Nutrition is a significant determinant in the leading causes of death in the USA, and yet recent studies have shown that most American medical schools provide insufficient nutrition education. To address this deficiency, a concise and updated set of nutrition learning objectives was created from the 2002 Nutrition Curricular Guide for Training Physicians. A panel of 66 experts provided feedback to revise the initial objectives. The resulting objectives are presented here, as well as one recommended overarching goal to help match the needs of patients with the skills of future physicians.


Nutrition Medical education Learning objectives Nutrition education Curriculum Clinical competence Medical students 



Nutrition Academic Award


International Association of Medical Science Educators


Institutional Review Board


Body Mass Index


Dietary Reference Intake


Recommended Dietary Allowance


Adequate Intake


Upper Limit


US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension


Registered Dietitian


Registered Dietitian Nutritionist


Women, Infants, and Children


Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program


Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program



The authors would like to thank Martin Kohlmeier, MD, PhD, for sharing the survey link with his network of nutrition educators.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet E. Lindsley
    • 1
  • Emine Ercikan Abali
    • 2
  • Benjamin T. Bikman
    • 3
  • Susan D. Cline
    • 4
  • Tracy Fulton
    • 5
  • Blanca Lopez
    • 6
  • Oren D. Rosenthal
    • 7
  • Virginia E. Uhley
    • 8
  • Roberta J. Weintraut
    • 9
  • D. Pauline Williams
    • 10
  • Jonathan J. Wisco
    • 11
    • 12
  • Kathryn Thompson
    • 13
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  2. 2.Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolPiscatawayUSA
  3. 3.Department of Physiology and Developmental BiologyBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biomedical SciencesMercer University School of MedicineMaconUSA
  5. 5.Department of Biochemistry and BiophysicsUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  6. 6.Department of Community MedicineMercer University School of MedicineMaconUSA
  7. 7.LECOM Bradenton College of Osteopathic Medicine 5000 Lakewood Ranch BlvdBradentonUSA
  8. 8.Oakland University William Beaumont School of MedicineRochesterUSA
  9. 9.Department of Family MedicineMercer University School of Medicine/Navicent HealthMaconUSA
  10. 10.Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food ScienceBrigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  11. 11.Department of Physiology and Developmental BiologyNeuroscience Center, Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA
  12. 12.Department of Neurobiology and AnatomyUniversity of Utah School of MedicineSalt Lake CityUSA
  13. 13.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of New England College of Osteopathic MedicineBiddefordUSA

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