What do most medical doctors REALLY know about nutrition? The answer may surprise you. I cover why there’s so much confusion regarding what most medical doctors actually know about nutrition.

  1. Jeff 11 years ago

    I can assure you this is true. I attended medical school from 1991 through 1995 and we had one very small section on nutrition and it was terrible. I’d say most doctors have a very poor understanding of nutrition. Sure they totally understand the basics like macro nutrients and calories but as far as what’s important, how to balance them and form a complete nutritional plan is just not taught.
    For me and many physicians, its not uncommon to put on weight through residency from stress and poor eating habits. Once I started to diet and exercise I quickly realized I didn’t know what I was doing. My first attempt was to starve myself, too little protein etc.., common mistakes. It was then I decided to self educate myself on nutrition. Now I feel well ahead of the game and I’d suspect that most physicians that know nutrition did it after medical school.
    Despite that, I see an alarming trend in medicine where physicians are setting up weight loss clinics and doing some pretty strange things and I don’t feel this is a healthy thing for my profession nor the patients. The problem is, there catering to the fast success story mentality and the money to be made.
    Thanks Will for these updates. I enjoy reading and watching them.

    • Author
      Will Brink 11 years ago

      Thanx Jeff. Knowing many medical professionals are on my lists here, working with docs regularly, and having various docs as personal friends, I made sure to take a balanced approach to this topic, but wanted to make people aware – as you confirmed – medical doctors are not generally a good source to turn to for nutritional information.

  2. Lisa 11 years ago

    My husband is a doctor and this is absolutely true. Most cancer patients get zero nutrition counseling, ask one, it’s shocking! This is also true about Will’s infornation on vitamin D. Most doctors don’t think to test people or know what optimal levels are. Take control of your life, educate yourself, and eat healthy. Thank’s Will for drawing attention to these kinds of things.

    • Author
      Will Brink 11 years ago

      Thanx for the comments Lisa! 🙂

  3. David R. 11 years ago

    I believe in self-responsible forms of action. The question is not what Doctors should know or do, but what each individual does to prevent disease. I am 65 and note that the healthiest of my age group and older are fairly savvy about nutrition, exercise, stress management, and “preventative medicine” in general. And they “practice” it.
    I think this will never change, nor should it. Doctors are highly constrained as to what they can do or say and possibly think. Thank goodness for the alternatives and the people who provide good information.

  4. makster 11 years ago

    I agree completely with your take on this.My Dr. knows very little about nutrition. I guess that dosen’t bother me because I don’t go to here for that info. She will just give you a copied sheet with the standard “accepted” info on calorie intake and foods.

  5. curtisie 11 years ago

    LOVE the shirt, Will!! and love your insights. Thanks for doing what you do.

  6. Kent Ingram 11 years ago

    Hi, Will: I don’t want to paint all AMA-trained physicians with the same broad brush, so I’m being fair when I remark that my personal experiences have shown that many of the doctors I’ve been a patient of ACTED like they knew about nutrition, when they really didn’t. Only one doctor followed up on research I presented to him from you and Mercola.com, Dr. Joseph Mercola’s website. That’s another side of this issue and, as I said, it doesn’t mean ALL doctors are like that. However, as a whole, I’d like to see a philosophical change in the medical profession, where they stop acting like the high priests and priestesses of society and humbly follow up on research presented to them by their patients and friends.

    • Author
      Will Brink 11 years ago

      Humility and open mindedness are rare commodities in any profession Kent 🙁

  7. david ross 9 years ago

    A better question might be: could nutritional approaches prevent or address disease issues. And to make this goal oriented as far as disease numbers go, the questions could be addressed weighted by the number of deaths related to diseases. I think the order is roughly: cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. For that matter, one could address the importance of exercise as a preventative measure for the major diseases. Then there is the subtle topic of age prevention or slowing. What about a person’s sense of well-being? What doctors address these issues?
    What doctors will consider drugs before nutritional approaches? And why?

  8. John 9 years ago

    there is no money for the med establishment to cure/help people through nutrition

  9. makster 9 years ago

    I agree completely. My Dr. knows very little about anything to do with nutrition. She knows even less about supplements.

  10. Dan 9 years ago

    A few years ago, I had some extensive blood tests ordered by a doctor. There were no issues from the tests. However, as part of the standard consultation, the doctor wanted me to list all supplements, vitamins, medication, etc. that I was taking. I take a number of supplements, which I listed for him. It was clear from our conversation that he was essentially anti-supplement. Some of the information he shared with me, I knew for a fact was incorrect, having done my own research. However, I did not want to argue with him, so I just took his diatribe with a grain of salt.
    In a separate incident with a different doctor, during a routine physical examination, I was discussing my use of nutrition supplements, and she confided in me that she didn’t have any training in medical school on nutrition. I gave her the website address of a certified clinical nutritionist who regularly shared the latest in research on nutrition. She wrote down the information, and seemed to be interested in doing her own research. I never got back with her to see if she followed up on the information. However, I was very impressed that she was willing to admit what she didn’t know. In my experience, it is highly unusual for a doctor to admit that.

  11. trizia 9 years ago

    A doctor ought to know that at some point in his carrier, a patient will have a question on nutrition and therefor should have at hand a list of nutritionists just as he has a list of psychiatrists, psychologists, neuro-surgeons-gynecologists….. that he would refer patients to, if need be. This is a two-way affair. The patient needs to make the distinction between one who specializes in and treats illness and one who specializes in well-being….attaining and maintaining. A doctor ought to know by now that they are no longer looked up to as gods so ”let me get back to you on that. I know someone who specializes….”’ will eventually replace miss-information and be totally acceptable.. Nutrition is a very scientific subject and huge in scope. A doctor needs his/;her ethics and integrity to remain intact so mis and dis-information does not grow tentacles and the patient needs to understand that no matter how good the plumber he will not be servicing your car. and the same can be said about the difference between sickness and well-being. Yes it would be great to pay one fee for both but the world is short of geniuses.

    • Author
      Will Brink 9 years ago

      That’s all true Trizia, but you may want to watch my vid covering nutritionists….

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