Bite Into Medical Education for Good Health

Did you feel the earth quake on April 3rd, 2019?  Well, that was the date the prestigious journal, The Lancet, published one of the most important studies of the year.  Their findings?  Simply their conclusion that medical students need more education in nutrition during their training.  

            Most of you who are reading this are likely unimpressed, but lets unpack the implications for a moment.  A prestigious medical journal claims that our medical system (this came from various areas in the world including the USA) needs a better understanding of nutrition’s effects on health.  They are professing that nutrition has a major role in human health which deserves more attention in the educational process.  You and I know this, but it is refreshing to hear others in the conventional world admit the same.

            In the fine print are other nuggets to mine out.  They suggested not only lack of time devoted to nutrition training, but lack of nutrition knowledge in those teaching.  Basically, they implicated the current generation of doctors and doctor educators as having poor nutrition understanding themselves.  Okay, another thing you and I can agree on.  The average doctor does NOT get it when it comes to nutrition.  But we have to realize that a medical system allowing 10-15 minutes per patient visit does not allow time for nutrition education in the average medical office.   Oddly, doctors then fuss about their patients getting so called “bad advice” on nutrition off the internet.  Well, the average patient has to get it somewhere if the doctor won’t lead.

            Off my soapbox rant and back to my topic.

            If you look at the Lancet actual study, don’t get turned off by the fact that it was funded by Bill Gates foundation.  And when you read the main portion of the paper, it discusses more about the effects of nutrition on health rather than medical education.  Deeper into the conclusions and implications of the study will you find the above statements of the authors. 

            In my conclusion… this confirms what you and I already know.  The current medical world does not appreciate the importance of nutrition on your health (or their own).  Thankfully, functional medicine does get it and therefore we will keep pressing towards healthier more abundant lives for our patients using the best of nutrition, natural therapies, and conventional medicine where appropriate.


Original Article:

GBD 2017 Diet Collaborators. Health effects of dietary risks in 195 countries, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. The Lancet, 2019; 393 (10184): 1958 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30041-8


Thanks to Science Daily:

The Lancet. “Despite growing burden of diet-related disease, medical education does not equip students to provide high quality nutritional care to patients: Researchers call for improved nutrition education to be integrated into the medical curriculum.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2019. <>.

Sanctuary Functional Medicine, under the direction of Dr Eric Potter, IFMCP MD, provides functional medicine services to Nashville, Middle Tennessee and beyond. We frequently treat patients from Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio, Indiana, and more... offering the hope of healthier more abundant lives to those with chronic illness.

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