Table 1

Identification of where the requirement or opportunity exists to include nutrition within the expected curriculum for medical students in the UK, as defined by the UK General Medical Council (GMC) Outcomes for Graduates25

GMC themesNutrition is a required learning outcomeNutrition not explicit but essential for good patient careNutrition could be used to enhance learning and achieve learning outcomes
Professional values and behaviours
Could be applied to 5 out of 6 outcome domains.
Safeguarding vulnerable patients
Includes recognition of poor nutrition and taking action or referral as appropriate.
Dealing with complexity and uncertainty
Nutrition should be part of considering patients’ goals and priorities for enhanced care.
Professional and ethical responsibilities
Both for self-care and reflection on students’/doctors’ own lifestyle, attitudes and beliefs, and how these might impact the advice given.
Patient safety and quality improvement
Food and nutrition projects could be used to achieve many of the learning outcomes in this domain.
Leadership and team working
This includes interdisciplinary working across healthcare settings that will have food and nutrition as part of their services.
Professional skills
Could be applied to 2 out of 4 outcome domains.
Prescribing medications safely
Route of administration, timing and interactions with food and dietary supplements essential for safe and effective care.
Communication and interpersonal skills
Conversations about role of nutrition in health can be used to introduce these skills.
Professional knowledge
Could be applied to 5 out of 6 outcome domains.
Applying biomedical scientific principles
Explicitly mentions nutrition and links it both to the science and practice of medicine.
Applying psychological principles
The relationship of psychological and medical conditions and impact of behaviour on treatment both are impacted by diet and nutrition.
Clinical research and scholarship
Nutrition-focused examples can be useful as a teaching material for statistics, research design and use of evidence.
Health promotion and illness prevention
This domain specifically mentions healthy weight and diet along with the role and impact of nutrition on health.
Applying social science principles
Nutrition both provides good teaching examples and requires the application of social science principles to be effective in practice.