Experiential Application of a Culinary Medicine Cultural Immersion Program for Health Professionals

Journal of Medical Education and Curricular Development (06/01/20) Vol. 7, P. 1 Olfert, Melissa D.; Wattick, Rachel A.; Hagedorn, Rebecca L.

Researchers at West Virginia University's Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design assessed a 16-week online experiential learning program emphasizing culinary medicine and the Mediterranean diet with a learn-first, practice-second framework. The authors enlisted 15 practicing and 14 aspiring health professionals to participate in the course, followed by a 14-day cultural immersion in Tuscany, Italy. Outcomes indicated that the cohort of practicing professionals gained more knowledge and self-efficacy from the pre-post course than the aspiring professional cohort. However, no significant differences between cohorts in mean changes in attitude, knowledge, self-efficacy, or Mediterranean diet scores from baseline were observed at the conclusion of the cultural immersion segment. "Providing unique and dynamic learning opportunities such as this for both current and future health professionals can effectively improve their nutrition knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy and possibly, in turn, their patient care," the authors concluded.

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