Eat to Treat: The Methods and Assessments of a Culinary Medicine Seminar for Future Physicians and Practicing Clinicians

Nutrients. 2023 Nov 17;15(22):4819. doi: 10.3390/nu15224819.


Nutrition-associated chronic disease is an epidemic in the United States (US), yet most medical schools lack adequate nutrition education. We developed a six-session culinary medicine (CM) seminar entitled "Eat to Treat: A Nutrition Course for Future Clinicians" that teaches culinary skills, nutrition science, and counseling techniques to improve clinical nutrition management. The seminar was offered in-person to first-year medical students in a medical school-based teaching kitchen from 2017 to 2019. A virtual three-session course was also offered to practicing clinicians in 2020. Voluntary self-efficacy questionnaires were collected at the beginning of the first and last sessions of the student seminar, and paired t-tests determined the course's effect on survey items. A total of 53 first-year medical students attended the program over five semesters, and 39 students (73.6%) completed both surveys. All except one measure of self-efficacy were significantly higher at session 6 than session 1 (p < 0.05). A post-course survey was utilized for the clinician seminar and of the 31 participants, 14 completed the surveys; 93% and 86% of respondents agreed the course was clinically relevant and improved their confidence, respectively. We developed a CM curriculum that improved nutrition knowledge and confidence among a professionally diverse cohort and may represent a scalable education model to improve nutrition education in US medical schools.

Keywords: cooking; culinary medicine; education; kitchen; medical student; nutrition; registered dietician; social determinants of health.

MeSH terms

  • Cooking / methods
  • Curriculum
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Physicians*
  • Students, Medical*
  • United States

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine Office of Enrichment and Boston Medical Center Food Pantry.