Medical students from Tulane University in New Orleans have partnered with culinary arts students at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. The med students are in Providence for a short rotation through a new program designed to educate them, as well as chefs-in-training about nutrition.
Clinton Piper, a fourth-year medical students says, “I think it’s forward thinking to start to see, to view food as medicine. That’s not something that’s really on our radar in medical education. But with the burden of disease in the United States being so heavily weighted with lifestyle disease, I think it’s a very, very logical next step.”

Piper says the goal of the partnership is to change the way doctors think about food. “We basically learn how to take care of patients when things go wrong, which is sad,” says fourth-year medical student Neha Solanki. “I think that we need to learn how to be able to make nutritious meals and discuss diet in an educated way.”

However, using med students as sous chefs brings on some challenges as well. The culinary arts students at times have to slow down to show the med students how to properly chop a vegetable. Yet, Todd Seyfarth, a culinary instructor says, “They have a better understanding than I ever will of how the body functions. And they can inform some of the decisions we make. I love having them here.”         nprhealth     9/18/13

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