Curves of the Charles Perkins Centre

Moving Toward Better Medical Training for Obesity Care

The needle is moving. We’ve long known that healthcare providers are ill-equipped to provide competent obesity care. Three years ago, the Bipartisan Policy Center stepped forward. The center called for a long-term effort improve training healthcare professionals in obesity prevention and treatment. Now, we have news that medical training programs are stepping up to the challenge.

Training That’s Critical for Every Healthcare Provider

Professor Adrienne Youdim of UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine tells us:

This is a problem that is important for all physicians to understand, because it is affecting the majority of the patients we’re going to see. I think historically doctors have been uncomfortable addressing this medical condition.

The math is pretty simple. Start with a obesity prevalence of 38% in the general population. Then consider that chronic diseases account for 81% of hospital admissions, 91% of prescriptions, and 76% of physician visits. Obesity is often the key factor in those chronic diseases. So, much of a healthcare provider’s time will be used to care for people living with obesity.

Shopping for a Medical School That Trains for Obesity Care

Wonder why medical schools are responding? Look at the latest U.S. News guide to medical schools. There, you’ll find a feature on obesity education as a key differentiator for medical schools. The guide tells students to look for a program with research and clinical programs focusing on obesity. “Medical schools that excel in teaching about obesity tend to produce cutting-edge research on that topic,” they advise.

Money drives training programs for healthcare professionals. Students bring the money. A new generation of students is shopping for schools with credible programs in obesity care and research. Schools have to respond.

The progress is incremental. But it’s encouraging

Click here for more from U.S. News.

Curves of the Charles Perkins Centre, photograph © Jason Tong / flickr

Subscribe by email to follow the accumulating evidence and observations that shape our view of health, obesity, and policy.


April 22, 2017

One Response to “Moving Toward Better Medical Training for Obesity Care”

  1. April 22, 2017 at 9:57 am, Stephen Phillips / American Association of Bariatric Counselors said:


    Moving Toward Better Medical Training for Obesity Care

    “Researchers have discovered a silver bullet elixir that increases life expectancy, reduce the burden of illness, delays the consequences of aging, decrease risky health behavior, and shrink disparities in health…… that elixir is called health education”