Topical Area: Education and Training
Objectives : Despite the epidemic of nutrition-related metabolic diseases, training in basic nutrition science is lacking for most healthcare professionals. To fill this training gap, Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition created an inter-professional executive program for practicing clinicians. The program consists of six courses that provide a core of basic nutrition science knowledge and skills to improve clinical practice. Biochemical and Physiological Bases of Nutrition; Macro and Micro Nutrients is taught for 6 hours per weekend over the course of one year to inter-professional clinicians. This course lays the foundation for the overall curriculum which aims to improve health care providers’ understanding of the scientific underpinnings of the etiology, prevention and treatment of nutrition-related diseases.
The main objective of this work was to evaluate the interest, feasibility and learning outcomes of the core course, Biochemical and Physiological Bases of Nutrition; Macro and Micro Nutrients
Methods : We used course evaluations and focus groups to assess students’ appraisal of the course, and exams to assess the extent to which course objectives were met. The course evaluations have close-ended scale answer categories and open-ended qualitative components.
Results : 51 health professionals completed the course and 70% of these completed course evaluations. Over 93% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the course contributed to the pursuit of their clinical goals. Effectiveness of teaching by the instructor was rated very effective or extremely effective by 100% of students. 91% of students rated the quality of the nutritional biochemistry course as excellent. Qualitative data support these quantitative findings and are enriched by quotes from the students.
Our program demonstrates that inter-professional training in the underlying pathways of metabolic disease and treatment is feasible and effective in a weekend executive education format. Future research will determine how the coursework and program impact participants’ clinical practice.
Funding Sources : No external funds.