Public Health

Medicine with a fork: 3 new podcasts on nutrition for physicians

Sara Berg, MS , News Editor

Now is the time for patients and physicians to reevaluate their priorities, especially with regards to nutrition. That’s because smarter self-care is a win-win for doctors—and their patients. With a set of new podcasts covering food insecurity, nutrition counseling and the health benefits of nuts, physicians can learn how to better advance the role of nutrition and lifestyle in medicine.

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AMA member Stephen Devries, MD, a preventive cardiologist and executive director of the educational nonprofit Gaples Institute in Chicago, said the goal of the podcast series—dubbed “Medicine With a Fork”—"is to spotlight nutrition topics of special value in clinical medicine that physicians can put to immediate use in their practice. ... All of the episodes are carefully designed to be rapid-paced, well-referenced and actionable.”

“Looking forward, our hope is that these short, bite-sized podcasts will whet the appetite to learn more about nutrition with our more comprehensive—but still rapid—online self-paced CME course, ‘Nutrition Science for Health and Longevity: What Every Physician Needs to Know,’” said Dr. Devries. “We have found that physicians who take the course are better positioned to appreciate the impact as well as the joy of making nutrition a larger part of medical practice.

“Most physicians have received very little formal nutrition education and survey data confirms that the overwhelming majority of physicians don’t feel adequately prepared to talk to their patients about nutrition,” he said. The Gaples Institute “developed these resources to fill a long-standing gap in nutrition knowledge among health professionals.”

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“This course has already been taken by over 2,000 clinicians and is now required in the curriculum of several leading medical schools,” said Dr. Devries. “After completing the course, 97% of physicians reported that it will change their practice.”

Here are the three new podcasts.

  1. Food Insecurity and What Clinicians Can Do About It.”

    1. “Food insecurity—meaning uncertain access to sufficient nutritious food—is a sad reality for far too many Americans, one only made worse by the pandemic,” said Dr. Devries. “In this 10-minute podcast, we describe the scope of the problem, which extends far beyond where many imagine, and the important role that physicians can play in identifying patients with food insecurity.
    2. “We also describe a well-validated two question tool that physicians can use to screen for food insecurity—one that could potentially be life-saving and takes less than a minute to perform,” he added.
  2. Nutrition Counseling: Importance of a Two-Part Message.”

    1. “Often, with the very best of intentions, clinicians advise their patients simply to reduce intake of unhealthy food choices,” said Dr. Devries. “While that's definitely an important message, there's another side of the conversation that is often disregarded, and it can lead to unintended consequences.
    2. “In this podcast, we discuss this often-missing piece of the nutrition counseling puzzle, and the history of harm that has resulted from failure to include both parts of the message,” he added. “We also cover how to fold both parts of the message into an effective nutrition-counseling conversation.”
  3. Health in a Nutshell: What Clinicians Should Know About Nuts.”

    1. “In this podcast we discuss the rather impressive health benefits related to nuts and review the underlying science that supports those benefits,” said Dr. Devries. “It’s a very practical episode, as most everyone likes to snack, so why not direct patients—and their physicians—to satisfying choices that can also improve health at the same time?
    2. “Carrying around nuts as a snack, both for patients and busy clinicians, is our version of ‘a pill in the pocket,’” he added.

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The recent update of the CME course, “Nutrition Science for Health and Longevity: What Every Physicians Needs to Know,” is enduring material designated for a maximum 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, and helps physicians begin an effective nutrition conversation with patients. The four-hour, self-paced course is developed and hosted by the Gaples Institute for Integrative Cardiology, a nonprofit focused on enhancing the role of nutrition and lifestyle in health care.

This course includes four modules that are distributed in collaboration with the AMA Ed Hub™, an online platform with high-quality CME/MOC from many trusted sources to support lifelong learning of physicians and other medical professionals. With topics relevant to you—including numerous CME modules on physician burnout—the AMA Ed Hub also offers an easy, streamlined way to find, take and track educational activities in one place, with automatic CME/MOC credit reporting for some state and specialty boards. AMA Members qualify for a 20% discount. Call (800) 262-3211 or email [email protected] for the discount code.

Learn more about AMA CME accreditation.