T Nation

Beware of MDs when it comes to nutirition


#1

Just a note of warning to all here. I am an RN at a world renowned
hospital in Boston. I do work with OI for the PCPs. In a board meeting
this morning the topic of nutritional guidelines was discussed. You
wouldn't believe how confused and clueless MDs are about nutrition and
diet. These are supposed to be the people responsible for keeping you
and your loved ones healthy. They just don't get it. One huge topic was
supplements for wieght loss ie. Ephedrine(gasp). One comment was -I
get questions on this metabo something or other, and I don't even know
what's in it or what it really does, and half my patients are on it- Really
scarry stuff.

You would think that these doctors would get themselves more educated
on nutrition, an intervention that has the potential to save their patients
lives. Unfortunately I am in no position to stand up and tell them how it
really is cause having a job is fairly essetnial. I realize that the people on
this forum already know that their MD isn't the person to get nutrition or
exercise info from, but just remind your freinds and family that just
because there is MD after a persons name, doesn't mean they have all
the correct answers. Have a happy and safe holiday season. Steve


#2

I feel your pain man! I worked for a couple of years at Memorial Sloan Kettering in NYC. Many of the things I would here regarding critical care nutrition were inaccurate (by residents, attendings and RNs). I covered critical care (Enteral and parenteral) as well as two outpatient clinics. Aspects of dietary supplements would always come up (especially in the OPD clinics) and how I addressed the inadequacy in the knowledge of the physicians was to get myself integrated into their weekly meetings or rounds. Slowly but surely they would let me give rounds, journal club or presentations. As long as I did it within their framework (references, refernces, references...) and was able to answer questions regarding study design, statistical methods, etc, they listened and learned. Following, I would get called for consults from the Physician-in-Chief (deputy) down to various residents. While it required a lot of work for me, it made headway in the style of thought for many. This style also demonstrated to me that just because journals exist, it doesn't necessarily mean that the right people read them or are exposed to them.
Well that was my experience back in the early 90s, good luck!


#3

I think it's really "scarry" (sic) for you to generalize as you have. I happen to be an MD (although not at a world renowned hospital.) Do you truly think that all MD's are clueless about nutrition? That's like me saying that all RN's are physician wannabes. Just be careful when you generalize. I would say historically our training has been somewhat lacking in the field of nutrition, but it's irresponsible for you to make a blanket statement like you have. If you want to change things, why don't you go to med school instead of bashing all docs.


#4

We aren't taught this kind of stuff in med school. That we agree on. Having said that, having an MD behind your name does NOT preclude having knowledge about these types of things. There's no need to generalize to that extent. Simply educate yourself and don't depend on others for knowledge you can obtain yourself.


#5

I am a MD and I have to agree with Steve. Most MDs are far less knowledgeable about nutrition (e.g. importance of omega three fatty acids) that the T-mag staff. In fact not only are they ignorant, but they are dangerous because they do not know what they do not know and prefer to solve things with drugs that could be addressed other ways e.g. diet, exercise and supplements).


#6

I think the take home message was simply not to rely on someone's opinion, even though they are educated. There are talented and less than talented folks in every profession.
Personally, I seek second and even third opinions about serious matters.