Despite the overwhelming evidence linking nearly every chronic medical disease (and many acute ones) to our diet, medical providers receive very little education on the topic. In 1985, the National Academy of Science published a landmark paper citing the lack of education on nutrition in medical schools. A 2010 follow-up study showed that most medical schools still failed to deliver the recommended 25 hours of nutrition education. In the study, only 25% of medical schools had any type of nutrition course and only 28 delivered any formal nutrition education on par with the current recommendations. This results in patients presenting to their providers with real and important nutrition questions and several generations of clinicians potentially lacking the know-how to help them.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has set out to change these sobering statistics. Founded by cardiologist and nutrition author, Dr Neal Barnard, MD, the group aims to empower patients to prevent and treat disease through their lifestyles and diets rather than only via medications. They also are a proponent of less animal testing in medical research. They offer an entirely free online nutrition curriculum for providers and now offer a medical app containing some of this content. The app is called the PCRM’s Nutrition Guide for Clinicians. The app is divided into basic introductory topics such as macro and micronutrients in health and disease, medical condition specific topics from acne to viral hepatitis, and finally a section on patient resources. All of this content is free and provided in an app by Unbound Medicine.
You are a new intern just starting your internal medicine rotation. You are assigned to see a 65 y/o male with Type II diabetes, heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and chronic alcoholism admitted to the service with acute pancreatitis. The attending begins asking you about nutrition care for this patient during rounds. How would you address the attending’s questions?
Evidence based medicine
The app contains information from the PCRM which provides advocacy and education for providers on nutrition education for patients with an on emphasis disease prevention and patient empowerment. The app is highly referenced throughout and contains numerous additional content offline via hyperlinks.
What providers would benefit from this App?
Students, residents, nurses, mid-levels, residents, attendings, dieticians, and any provider who performs nutrition counseling/care.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- Well-referenced comprehensive content from a reputable source (PCRM).
- Contains sections for providers, specific medical conditions, dedicated patient information.
- Available for Android.
- Text heavy.
- Many resources not hyperlinked.
- Medical condition content unnecessary and not focused clearly on nutritional aspects.
The PCRM Nutrition Guide for Clinicians fills a void in medical education via a comprehensive and free resource. It contains numerous quality resources for patients and providers. However, the sections on medical conditions seem torn between a more comprehensive medical reference and a nutritional reference for medical providers. In the end, the lack of easy to navigate point of care resources and reliance on textbook-like layout and content makes the app less highly recommendable.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Easy to use interface with the typical layout of other Unbound Medicine apps, but content in subsections is extremely text heavy.
- Multimedia Usage
Contains hyperlinks to the PCRM website, a plant based diet handbook for patients, cookbooks, and films. App is well-referenced.
App is free!
- Real World Applicability
A nice free text in app form for students and residents or those looking to brush up or enhance their knowledge base. The app would be more useful if it contained more point-of-care content, more succinct navigation. However, the overall content is excellent.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 8 running iOS 11.2.5
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad