Cross-sectional study of nutrition knowledge and attitudes of medical students at three points in their medical training at 11 southeastern medical schools

Academic Article


  • Eleven southeastern medical schools cooperated to evaluate nutrition knowledge and attitudes of medical students. This study complements previous reports of an examination of entering freshmen and seniors. Average knowledge scores for 165 students tested after basic sciences (preclinical) training in this study were 67 ± 7% compared with 53 ± 6% for freshmen and 69 ± 8% for seniors. The upperclassmen's scores were higher than the freshmen's (p < 0.001) and varied with the amount of required nutrition teaching. Only 13% of preclinical students perceived nutrition as important to their careers compared with 74% of entering and 59% of graduating students, suggesting that preclinical teaching reduces their sense of relevance of nutrition to medicine. These findings suggest that nutrition knowledge can be increased through preclinical coursework and that the knowledge level can be maintained through the clinical years. However, the positive attitude of freshmen toward nutrition is lost after preclinical training and is only partially regained after the clinical years.
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    Author List

  • Weinsier RL; Boker JR; Morgan SL; Feldman EB; Moinuddin JF; Mamel JJ; DiGirolamo M; Borum PR; Read MS; Brooks CM
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 6
  • Volume

  • 48
  • Issue

  • 1