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Tuesday, February 28 • 11:00am - 11:45am
ARCHES - [Oral Presentation] 1. Show Me Your Objectives: Nutrition Education in the University of New Mexico School of Medicine Curriculum, 2015-2016

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11:00 AM - 11:15 AM

Show Me Your Objectives: Nutrition Education in the University of New Mexico School of Medicine Curriculum, 2015-2016

A. Robinson, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque
Abstract Body: Introduction: More than 2/3 of adults and 1/3 of children in the United States are overweight or obese which contributes to a vast array of adverse health outcomes. The population of New Mexico has been significantly impacted by this trend. Medical educators have been called upon to respond to these trends by improving nutrition education in undergraduate medical education. Course objectives provide the gold standard for documenting course content. The first step in creating a foundation for conversation regarding the optimal content and timing of nutrition curriculum is to identify the content and location within the existing curriculum. Key stakeholders at our institution expressed interest in this process prior to creation of this study, because no one had ever systematically assessed the content of our curriculum through the lens of nutrition education. Dialogue regarding the study findings is ongoing. Other United States medical schools may wish to utilize a similar process to evaluate nutrition education within their undergraduate curriculum to provide a foundation for conversation on improving their curriculum. Research questions: The goal of this project was to survey the content of the Phase I and Phase II course objectives within our undergraduate medical education program in an attempt to determine to what extent and within which courses our program provides foundational material on nutrition. A secondary question emerged during the research process: was there material on nutrition education presented within courses that may not be captured through survey of course objectives? Methods: A data collection instrument was designed based upon the list in "Nutrition Competencies for Graduating Medical Students" from the Nutrition in Medicine Program at the University of North Carolina. 61 subtopics were examined within 6 major categories. Course objectives of all first and second year required courses from 7/1/15 through 6/30/16 were surveyed. Thus, course objectives for 21 major blocks and clerkships and 5 additional courses were surveyed in our curriculum management program, One45. Following this survey, there was communication with the block chair or clerkship director from each course to discuss and verify the data.This was a mixed-methods study. Results: 17/26 (65%) of the courses surveyed included course content in at least one nutrition subtopic. "Water and electrolytes" and "Sources, bioavailability, action, deficiency, excess of micronutrients" were the subtopics most frequently covered within Foundational Topics, each addressed in five courses.Additionally, contact with course directors provided significantly more detail on course objecives within 4/17 (24%) of these courses. Discussion: There was more variability than anticipated in terms of identifying course objectives. We have opportunities for improvement in the quality of documentation of objectives and depth of curriculum content in nutrition education.This may facilitate communication between course directors to reduce redundant curriculum and elucidate gaps. The data collection was complicated by the level of detail in the survey tool. Variability of results was likely minimized by the fact that a single researcher was applying the same tool to each course with an identical approach. Other broad questions emerged from this study: should nutrition education be implemented as a longitudinal curriculum throughout our four year medical school program? Precisely what do we categorize as nutrition education from the standpoint of quantifying the number of hours of nutrition education that is provided to our learners?  


Tuesday February 28, 2017 11:00am - 11:45am

Attendees (9)