What’s Cooking? Med Students Learn ‘Culinary Medicine’
Sep 24, 2013, 9:10 AM
There have been some unusual cooks in the kitchen at the Johnson & Wales University culinary institute in Providence, R.I., lately: medical students.
Doctors-in-training from Tulane University have been cooking alongside Johnson & Wales students for several weeks, NPR reports, to learn about nutrition. This unique program, which debuted this year and was organized by Tulane’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, aims to change the way medical students think about food and, ultimately, how they will talk to future patients about nutrition and healthy eating.
Many health problems and diseases—like obesity and diabetes—could be prevented by lifestyle changes such as better eating habits.
"We basically learn how to take care of patients when things go wrong,” Neha Solanki, a fourth-year Tulane medical student, told NPR. “I think that we need to learn how to be able to make nutritious meals and to discuss diet in an educated manner."
In addition to the collaboration with Johnson & Wales, Tulane’s Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine has built relationships in its own community. Medical students help with an “edible schoolyard” program at local schools, and host hands-on cooking and nutrition education classes for community members at the nation’s first teaching kitchen affiliated with a medical school.
This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.