Inadequately Trained to Help Obese Patients?December 3, 2012
Wake Forest University researchers are reporting that medical schools across the country are not providing obesity education to their students, despite the fact that 31% of adults are obese and 15% of children and teenagers age 6-19 are overweight. With the obesity epidemic on the rise, and the growing costs to our health-care system due to the many comorbidities associated with obesity, studies have documented that only a small number of major medical centers provide adequate training to students in how to care for the obese patient.
"We just aren't doing a good enough job of teaching our students evidence-based methods of intervention and care for our obese patients,.” said Mara Vitolins, professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist.
Studies also have proven that physician bias of against the obese patients is prevalent amongst medical professionals just as in the general public. Physicians are reporting that they feel inadequately trained to help obese patients lose weight and very often do not refer the patient to a professional that may be able to help.
Obesity advocate and OH mental health adviser, Connie Stapleton, PhD, is one professional who works to bridge the gaps in medical education on obesity. Based out of Augusta, Georgia, Stapleton has a CEU program to help professionals understand the obese patient and travels the country to help educate and inform medical students and professionals.
-Photo courtesy of Waldo Jaquith