Doctors are smart people. They spent years gaining the field-specific knowledge that they have, knowledge that nobody else in the general population can fully understand.
Although closely linked with medicine, nutrition is a completely separate field, and one in which most doctors get very little training.
A group of prominent physicians wrote in 2014 that “nutrition receives little attention in medical practice” and “the reason stems, in large part, from the severe deficiency of nutrition education at all levels of medical training.”
So, how has medical education been affected by this knowledge? Doctors only get about 19 hours of nutrition education during their entire training, and even most of that has limited clinical relevance.
Usually, in 6 years of medical school, medical students receive less than 2 hours of nutrition education!
Thirty years ago, only 37 percent of medical schools had a single course in nutrition. According to the most recent national survey, that number has since dropped to 27 percent. And, it gets even worse after students graduate.
According to the official list of all the requirements for those specializing in cardiology, fellows must perform at least 50 stress tests, participate in at least 100 catheterizations, and so on. But nowhere in the 34-page list of requirements is there any mention of nutrition. Maybe they leave that to the primary care physicians? No. In the official 35-page list of requirements for internal medicine doctors, once again, nutrition doesn’t get even a single mention.
There are no requirements for nutrition before medical school either. Instead, aspiring doctors need to take courses like calculus, organic chemistry, and physics. Most of these common pre-med requirements are irrelevant to the practice of medicine and are primarily used to “weed out” students. Shouldn’t we be weeding out based on skills a physician actually uses?
Despite the neglect of nutrition in medical education, physicians are considered by the public to be among the most trusted sources for information related to nutrition. But, if doctors don’t know what they’re talking about, they could actually be contributing to diet-related diseases as Type 2 Diabetes. May be this is the main reason, why many doctors believe that diabetes cannot be reversed with a nutritional approach.
So don’t be surprised that your doctor is completely unaware of the power of nutrition to prevent and even reverse disease – he or she simply hasn’t been taught even the most fundamental principles of nutrition.