The AfN Undergraduate Curriculum in Nutrition for Medical Doctors
Following the transfer of the UK Undergraduate Curriculum in Nutrition for newly qualified doctors from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) to the Association for Nutrition (AfN) in May 2018, the AfN has led the review and development of a nutrition curriculum.
Nutrition is widely recognised to be fundamental to good health and plays an integral role in disease prevention, development and progression. Poor nutrition is also a core factor within increased hospital stays, increased complications and co-morbidities, with health and social care costs associated with an undernourished patient increasing three fold. The key role of nutrition in health has been highlighted by the NHS Long Term Plan stating “we will ensure nutrition has a greater place in professional education training.” This curriculum is designed to provide undergraduate medical students with basic knowledge and understanding of nutrition, that can be developed further within foundation and specialty training.
This curriculum has been developed through the involvement and engagement of medical schools, Royal Colleges, medical and nutrition organisations, training providers, policy professionals, students, medical professionals, nutrition professionals and in consultation with additional representatives of these stakeholders, plus patients and the general public.
Nutrition and/or diet is explicitly mentioned within 5 of the GMC Outcomes for Graduates. However nutrition and its role in health and disease can also be a applicable to many more outcomes and applies across multiple clinical areas. Embedding nutrition in a multidisciplinary manner enables this curriculum to be incorporated within the wider medical curriculum and reiterates the central role of nutrition across all areas, for example from gastroenterology, cardiopulmonary and surgery to medicolegal, primary care, community and public health.
This curriculum has been produced without external funding, with all parties giving their time and expertise freely to this work.
This curriculum has been designed to be incorporated within the core curriculum of undergraduate medical students. By embedding this within the core curriculum, rather than as a standalone subject, it advances students knowledge and understanding of the inter-relationship nutrition has with health and disease. The curriculum is comprised of top level Key Competencies, followed by Graduation Fundamentals that all graduates should be able to achieve. These are both underpinned by curriculum statements and teaching points to provide the detailed information to those implementing the learning outcomes into teaching materials for students.
Scroll down to download the curriculum, watch some short videos about nutrition education for medical students and access links to documents/recommendations referred to within the curriculum.