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New Programs in Nutrition and Culinary Medicine Generate Great Student Interest

Culinary medicine is a new evidence-based field that unifies the science of nutrition and metabolism with practical, patient-based, decision-making and physician counseling.

November 02, 2020
First Issue of the newsletter, Vitals in the Kitchen

“This partnership will provide new core educational and elective opportunities to expand our focus on this critical aspect of person-centered health care,” says Jennifer L. Koestler, M.D., senior associate dean for medical education and associate professor of pediatrics and medicine. “Through the integration of nutrition and culinary skills within the medical curriculum, we hope to increase the number of future physicians who have an understanding, appreciation and the necessary skill development in applied nutrition and lifestyle management.” 

This program provides a platform to help participants learn methods in which to integrate nutrition counseling to complement pharmacological treatment, thus promoting the whole patient approaches for prevention and treatment.

“As a medical student with a background in clinical nutrition who advocates for health education and proactive care, I believe that one of the most beneficial prescriptions a physician can give patients for prevention and longevity is diet,” says Jessica Rosen, SOM Class of 2024, who along with SOM Dean Jerry Nadler, M.D., was instrumental in bringing the new program to NYMC and serves as president of the Culinary Medicine Interest Group. “As medical students, we can learn differential diagnoses and about the plethora of diseases and their causes, however, illness does not happen outside the context of human response. One of these human responses is the lifestyle one chooses to lead and the diet one chooses to engage in.”

The program has generated enormous interest from students, with approximately 100 students already signed up as members of a Culinary Medicine Interest Group. The interest group recently published the first issue of their newsletter, Vitals in the Kitchen, as well as a video to generate student interest in the new club that was produced for the Student Club Fair in September.

In addition to the newsletter, the interest group is developing virtual platforms and materials and planning events to increase community engagement and collaboration across the NYMC campus, as well as, has future plans to develop research ventures and explore partnerships with the greater Westchester community.

“At a time when medicine often feels very reactive and treatment-focused, I hope that participation in this program and the interest group will offer students the opportunity to both be proactive and peel back the layers of health care to get to the core that is empowering patients with the confidence and resources to lead and sustain a healthy lifestyle,” says Ms. Rosen.