Implementation of an Interprofessional Nutrition Workshop to Integrate Nutrition Education into a Preclinical Medical School Curriculum

Marie Cavuoto Petrizzo, Lauren Block, Doreen M. Olvet, Eva M. Sheridan, Rebecca Dougherty, Matthew Whitson, Janice T. John, Maria Louise Barilla-LaBarca, Stephanie DiFiglia-Peck, Alice Fornari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: The patient-physician encounter provides an ideal opportunity to assess a patient’s dietary history and its impact on total health. However, nutrition assessments and counseling in physician-patient encounters is often lacking. Insufficient nutrition education during medical school may lead to insecurity in assessing and counseling patients. Methods: Physicians and registered dietitians (RD) co-developed and co-facilitated a nutrition workshop for first-year medical students. Goals included increasing recognition of nutrition’s impact on health and promoting student confidence and skills when attaining a nutrition history, assessing risk factors, and advising. Results: Seventy percent of students attested to having “sufficient” knowledge to counsel a patient on nutrition after the session compared to 38% before (Z= −4.46, p < 0.001). Sixty eight percent felt comfortable completing a nutritional assessment after the session compared to 35% before (Z= −4.30, p < 0.001). Sixty-three percent felt confident in advising patients about nutrition after the session compared to 32% before (Z= −4.20, p < 0.001). Students also significantly outperformed a control cohort on a nutrition-related component of an Objective Standardized Clinical Examination. Conclusions: Clinical nutrition education can be successfully integrated into the medical school curriculum as early as the first year. Interprofessional collaboration with RDs provided evidence-based content and authentic clinical experience in both the development of the workshop and in facilitating student discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-118
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • interprofessional
  • medical education
  • Nutrition
  • preclinical curriculum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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