Basic nutrition knowledge of recent medical graduates entering a pediatric residency program

Int J Adolesc Med Health. 2016 Nov 1;28(4):357-361. doi: 10.1515/ijamh-2015-0019.


Objective: This study assesses the basic nutritional knowledge of fourth year medical/osteopathic school graduates entering a pediatric residency program and compares the knowledge of the medical students to that of the patients and parents who completed the same survey previously.

Methods: Medical and osteopathic school graduates entering a pediatric residency program completed an 18-question nutrition survey during resident orientation in June of 2011 and 2012.

Results: The incoming interns averaged answering 52% of the questions correctly. Interns did better than both groups but the only statistically significant difference was between the interns and the non-eating disorder adolescents and their parents (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Incoming residents to a pediatric residency program appear to be deficient in basic nutritional knowledge. With the ever increasing burden of obesity and its associated co-morbidities on society, it is imperative that medical education focuses on preparing physicians to appropriately counsel all populations on proper nutrition.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child Nutrition Sciences*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Literacy
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Male
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States