Physician Perspectives on Nutrition Counseling and Nutrition Focused Continuing Medical Education in Texas



health education, nutrition, health research


To assess Texas physician nutrition counseling practices and interest in nutrition continuing education opportunities that would enhance patient care. A simple online survey was developed, validated then randomly distributed to physicians across Texas between May 2015 and August 2015. Participants (n=54) completed the survey regarding demographics, incorporation of nutrition with patient care, and nutrition-related continuing education opportunities. Physicians across Texas overwhelmingly reported insufficient incorporation of nutrition counseling into their practice and were in favor of additional continuing medical education (CME) opportunities focused on nutrition. Our results showed 89% of physicians care for patients who require nutrition counseling “Sometimes” or “Usually/Always”. However only 15% feel highly confident to discuss nutrition with patients. A majority (81%) of physicians reported increased likelihood to participate in webinars delivering research-based nutrition information due to their lack of nutrition training. Nutrition CME opportunities post-medical school are limited. To address this shortcoming, and to enhance physician confidence and ability to incorporate nutrition information when interacting with patients, CME courses focused on nutrition must be more readily available. Our findings indicate that Texas physicians recognize the need for nutrition CME opportunities to add value to their practices, and seek such learning opportunities.

Author Biography

Kristen Hicks, Texas A&M University

Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences


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Original Research