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A Culinary Medicine Revolution at Tulane

David Ferriss, MD, MPH
VP & Medical Director, Healthways

In the most recent study of nutrition education in U.S. medical schools, Kelly Adams and her colleagues at the University of North Carolina Department of Nutrition concluded, “The teaching of nutrition in U.S. medical schools still appears to be in a precarious position, lacking a firm, secure place in the medical curriculum of most medical schools.”  Indeed, the 2010 study published in Academic Medicine found that only 27% of 105 medical schools responding to a survey met the minimum requirement of 25 hours established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1985.

Not so at Tulane!  In August of 2014, the Tulane University Medical School opened its new 4,600 sq. ft. Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, the first-of-its-kind medical school teaching kitchen, for the nutritional education of medical students, residents, practicing physicians, and community residents.  The kitchen is led by Dr. Timothy Harlan, an internist and the Executive Director of the Goldring Center.

A professional chef by passion and training who subsequently pursued a career in medicine and assumed the identity of Dr. Gourmet, Harlan realized at the beginning of his medical career the powerful influence that food has on health and disease.  In addition to his role as an Assistant Dean, Harlan has guided the creation of a culinary medicine program at Tulane that has achieved an impressive number of firsts:

  • 1st teaching kitchen in a medical school
  • 1st and only medical school with a chef as a full-time faculty member
  • 1st medical school to license its culinary medicine curriculum to other medical schools (12 schools and counting)
  • 1st medical school to incorporate culinary medicine into its core curriculum for all medical students

Some 156 medical students have completed an eight-module culinary medicine curriculum since the program was launched three years ago.  While the curriculum was originally offered as a series of elective courses, the culinary medicine courses are now being incorporated into the core curriculum for all medical students.  In addition, senior medical students have the option of teaching community residents healthy eating nutrition and culinary skills as part of a fourth year student community health elective and of completing a culinary medicine rotation at the Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts in Providence, Rhode Island.

A key aspect of Tulane’s success has been a ground-breaking collaboration between Tulane and Johnson & Wales.  Chef Leah Sarris was a culinary nutrition instructor at Johnson & Wales when Tulane started its culinary medicine program in 2012 but subsequently became the first chef to join a medical school faculty.  She currently serves as the Program Director of the Goldring Center and directs the multiple educational and service initiatives of the center.

From its inception, the Tulane Culinary Medicine Program has embraced an evidence-based approach to nutrition and its application in the American kitchen in order to educate physicians to help their patients prevent and combat chronic disease.  For Tulane, this has meant embracing the principles of a Mediterranean Diet, an eating pattern that stresses an abundance of whole plant-based foods along with limited amounts of lean animal protein and olive oil as the major source of fat.  Our goal is to translate the excellent body of nutrition research into the conversation that a physician will have in the examination room with patients about food says Harlan.  It is key that we teach physicians practical strategies to help fill the now nearly empty lifestyle side of our toolbox giving them the powerful tools that we can use to prevent and treat disease.  In a city with a long tradition of rich cuisine and a state in which some two-thirds of school children have a BMI greater than 30, Harlan believes a Mediterranean eating pattern can best be successful in moving individuals towards much healthier food options while still respecting long-ingrained culinary traditions.

Culinary Medicine at Tulane has four core missions:

1.    Core Mission 1:  Medical Students:  Culinary medicine core curriculum and elective curriculum components are available at all levels, first to fourth year as well as residency programming.

2.    Core Mission 2:  The Community:  Teaching kitchen staff and medical students conduct numerous beginner and intermediate-level healthy-eating culinary classes each year to New Orleans area residents, in particular targeting at-risk youth, schools, community centers, and community clinics.

3.    Core Mission 3:  Professional Education:  Goldring Center staff provide comprehensive culinary medicine educational programming for family medicine residents, Johnson & Wales interns, dietetic interns, and practicing physicians from all over the United States.  A culinary medicine certification program for practicing physicians launched in March 2015.

4.    Core Mission 4:  Research and Outcomes:  Research to demonstrate the impact of culinary medicine programming on medical students, practicing physicians, patients, and community members is a primary focus of the Goldring Center, and there is a growing list of publications in peer-reviewed journals and accepted posters at major scientific meetings.

The Tulane Culinary Medicine Program is indeed a ground-breaking program whose impact will undoubtedly be felt in the way physicians practice medicine and consequently the health and well-being of their patients.  Perhaps the most concise summary of what Dr. Timothy Harlan and Tulane are doing is found in Tulane’s description of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine:  “A Tulane University School of Medicine initiative to promote culinary literacy — and change the course of chronic disease in America.”

Contact Dr. Harlan at tharlan@tulane.edu for more information.

For more information on The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane:

www.culinarymedicine.org
www.culinarymedicinecertified.com
Goldring Center brochure 
Tulane Medicine article, fall of 2014

ACLM – Beginnings, Challenges, Growth, and the Future

ACLM – Beginnings, Challenges, Growth, and the Future

Truly helping those we serve in the most effective way possible.  This is what it is all about, right?  We want to help people have the health and vitality to fully engage with, and enjoy, life.  Lifestyle Medicine does more than other fields of health care to accomplish this, treating the cause of disease and not just the symptoms.  But our health care system is built for ever-increasing pills and procedures to treat symptoms, not causes.  This is very frustrating for those of us seeking to practice what health care should be.

So how do we incorporate scientifically-proven, lifestyle medicine into practice? The Lifestyle Medicine Foundation’s new LifestyleFacts.org website is going to provide a very tangible means for providers everywhere to do just that. Inspired by the great work of Michael Greger, MD, and NutritionFacts.org, the Foundation is developing content for the scope of Lifestyle Medicine.  Providers everywhere will be able to “prescribe” Lifestyle Medicine education, allowing patients to access the educational component of “first line therapy” that is convenient and of the highest quality. 

But there is so much health information out there.  The internet is swimming with an overwhelming flood of it.  What is different about LifestyleFacts.org?  Two big things.

  • A.      Real Lifestyle Medicine is fundamentally different in that “lifestyle” is the primary treatment modality.  It is talked about, handled, and applied as the dominant therapy, receiving the vast bulk of time, attention, and energy.  It is used in therapeutic dosage.  Medications or other therapies are “adjunct”.  This turns the typical medication-based paradigm on its head. 
  • B.      It’s about people.  Period.  Money is the means to the end of helping people the most in the most effective way possible.  Patients and consumers are very confused.  99% of the health information out there is commercially driven – either direct sales of products, or using the information as bait to bring people to their site so they can mix in all kinds of advertising.  Or, the best of them try to sell quality information that essentially supports the current backwards paradigm.  We believe we need to get back to this thing called “patients”.

LifestyleFacts.org will be the go-to resource on the web to empower lifestyle care.  The future of health care is online resources shared by both providers and patients – where everyone is reading off the same fact-based page for any given condition.  LifestyleFacts.org will be one of the pillars in this next-gen health care world.  Providers and patients will be empowered to take care “out of the box” and into real life.

We are working on building the most functional tools into LifestyleFacts.org.  Personal accounts that allow people to track what they have watched will allow reporting back to providers who have prescribed Lifestyle Medicine Education or obtaining credit for employer wellness programs.  Curriculum sets will allow people to watch a series of short videos to gain a specified knowledge base on a given topic.  Community functions will allow people to more fully engage effectively with lifestyle change instead of it just being them against the world.  And we look for input and suggestions from the Lifestyle Medicine community for what we should do that will be most useful.  So please, send us suggestions!  This site and project is about your practice.

We want to express a large amount of appreciation to Dexter Shurney, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Cummins, Inc, and to Cummins for their support and engagement on this project.  We look forward to seeing how this content plays a role in Cummins redesign of health care to a “treat the cause” basis.  We also want to acknowledge and thank our core expert panel:

Michael Greger, MD and NutritionFacts.org (including sharing their video content with LifestyleFacts.org)

Virginia Gurley, MD, MPH – expert in sleep medicine and all things circadian

Jerry Morris, PsyD, MBA, MSPharm – expert in behavioral health and integration of disciplines

Edward Phillips, MD – expert in exercise science

And we are looking forward to engaging with other experts in the broad scope of Lifestyle Medicine as we seek to bring the world’s best science into the lives of those we serve.

Final Note and Opportunity to Make a Difference

The LifestyleFacts.org project and many others acknowledge a great need for a shared database of relevant, current science on the topic, and component topics, of Lifestyle Medicine.  Because the pieces of Lifestyle Medicine are scattered in behavioral science, nutrition science, sleep science, etc, Lifestyle Medicine is professionally handicapped. The Foundation is committed to filling this void by the creation of a shared, scientific research database. This system we are setting up will be a structure in which health care professionals, students, residents, and others can contribute to this shared database.  The development of the field requires that we have a functional, tangible, shared scientific foundation for everything we do.

 

Volunteers are a critical component to compiling the research into a usable system and the Foundation continues to recruit volunteers for populating the database. The database will be available for contributions beginning Summer 2015.  Love the idea but are too busy to help build the database personally?  Your tax-deductible donations will support the staff needed to manage the database and it’s development.

Stay in the Loop

The beta version of LifestyleFacts.org is expected to come online in late Spring.  To stay in the loop on this, and other game-changing Lifestyle Medicine projects the Foundation is working on, sign up for our newsletter here. 

Truly helping those we serve in the most effective way possible.  This is what it is all about, right?  We want to help people have the health and vitality to fully engage with, and enjoy, life.  Lifestyle Medicine does more than other fields of health care to accomplish this, treating the cause of disease and not just the symptoms.  But our health care system is built for ever-increasing pills and procedures to treat symptoms, not causes.  This is very frustrating for those of us seeking to practice what health care should be.

So how do we incorporate scientifically-proven, lifestyle medicine into practice? The Lifestyle Medicine Foundation’s new LifestyleFacts.org website is going to provide a very tangible means for providers everywhere to do just that. Inspired by the great work of Michael Greger, MD, and NutritionFacts.org, the Foundation is developing content for the scope of Lifestyle Medicine.  Providers everywhere will be able to “prescribe” Lifestyle Medicine education, allowing patients to access the educational component of “first line therapy” that is convenient and of the highest quality. 

But there is so much health information out there.  The internet is swimming with an overwhelming flood of it.  What is different about LifestyleFacts.org?  Two big things.

  • A.      Real Lifestyle Medicine is fundamentally different in that “lifestyle” is the primary treatment modality.  It is talked about, handled, and applied as the dominant therapy, receiving the vast bulk of time, attention, and energy.  It is used in therapeutic dosage.  Medications or other therapies are “adjunct”.  This turns the typical medication-based paradigm on its head. 
  • B.      It’s about people.  Period.  Money is the means to the end of helping people the most in the most effective way possible.  Patients and consumers are very confused.  99% of the health information out there is commercially driven – either direct sales of products, or using the information as bait to bring people to their site so they can mix in all kinds of advertising.  Or, the best of them try to sell quality information that essentially supports the current backwards paradigm.  We believe we need to get back to this thing called “patients”.

LifestyleFacts.org will be the go-to resource on the web to empower lifestyle care.  The future of health care is online resources shared by both providers and patients – where everyone is reading off the same fact-based page for any given condition.  LifestyleFacts.org will be one of the pillars in this next-gen health care world.  Providers and patients will be empowered to take care “out of the box” and into real life.

We are working on building the most functional tools into LifestyleFacts.org.  Personal accounts that allow people to track what they have watched will allow reporting back to providers who have prescribed Lifestyle Medicine Education or obtaining credit for employer wellness programs.  Curriculum sets will allow people to watch a series of short videos to gain a specified knowledge base on a given topic.  Community functions will allow people to more fully engage effectively with lifestyle change instead of it just being them against the world.  And we look for input and suggestions from the Lifestyle Medicine community for what we should do that will be most useful.  So please, send us suggestions!  This site and project is about your practice.

We want to express a large amount of appreciation to Dexter Shurney, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Cummins, Inc, and to Cummins for their support and engagement on this project.  We look forward to seeing how this content plays a role in Cummins redesign of health care to a “treat the cause” basis.  We also want to acknowledge and thank our core expert panel:

Michael Greger, MD and NutritionFacts.org (including sharing their video content with LifestyleFacts.org)

Virginia Gurley, MD, MPH – expert in sleep medicine and all things circadian

Jerry Morris, PsyD, MBA, MSPharm – expert in behavioral health and integration of disciplines

Edward Phillips, MD – expert in exercise science

And we are looking forward to engaging with other experts in the broad scope of Lifestyle Medicine as we seek to bring the world’s best science into the lives of those we serve.

Final Note and Opportunity to Make a Difference

The LifestyleFacts.org project and many others acknowledge a great need for a shared database of relevant, current science on the topic, and component topics, of Lifestyle Medicine.  Because the pieces of Lifestyle Medicine are scattered in behavioral science, nutrition science, sleep science, etc, Lifestyle Medicine is professionally handicapped. The Foundation is committed to filling this void by the creation of a shared, scientific research database. This system we are setting up will be a structure in which health care professionals, students, residents, and others can contribute to this shared database.  The development of the field requires that we have a functional, tangible, shared scientific foundation for everything we do.

 

Volunteers are a critical component to compiling the research into a usable system and the Foundation continues to recruit volunteers for populating the database. The database will be available for contributions beginning Summer 2015.  Love the idea but are too busy to help build the database personally?  Your tax-deductible donations will support the staff needed to manage the database and it’s development.

Stay in the Loop

The beta version of LifestyleFacts.org is expected to come online in late Spring.  To stay in the loop on this, and other game-changing Lifestyle Medicine projects the Foundation is working on, sign up for our newsletter here. 

Truly helping those we serve in the most effective way possible.  This is what it is all about, right?  We want to help people have the health and vitality to fully engage with, and enjoy, life.  Lifestyle Medicine does more than other fields of health care to accomplish this, treating the cause of disease and not just the symptoms.  But our health care system is built for ever-increasing pills and procedures to treat symptoms, not causes.  This is very frustrating for those of us seeking to practice what health care should be.

So how do we incorporate scientifically-proven, lifestyle medicine into practice? The Lifestyle Medicine Foundation’s new LifestyleFacts.org website is going to provide a very tangible means for providers everywhere to do just that. Inspired by the great work of Michael Greger, MD, and NutritionFacts.org, the Foundation is developing content for the scope of Lifestyle Medicine.  Providers everywhere will be able to “prescribe” Lifestyle Medicine education, allowing patients to access the educational component of “first line therapy” that is convenient and of the highest quality. 

But there is so much health information out there.  The internet is swimming with an overwhelming flood of it.  What is different about LifestyleFacts.org?  Two big things.

  • A.      Real Lifestyle Medicine is fundamentally different in that “lifestyle” is the primary treatment modality.  It is talked about, handled, and applied as the dominant therapy, receiving the vast bulk of time, attention, and energy.  It is used in therapeutic dosage.  Medications or other therapies are “adjunct”.  This turns the typical medication-based paradigm on its head. 
  • B.      It’s about people.  Period.  Money is the means to the end of helping people the most in the most effective way possible.  Patients and consumers are very confused.  99% of the health information out there is commercially driven – either direct sales of products, or using the information as bait to bring people to their site so they can mix in all kinds of advertising.  Or, the best of them try to sell quality information that essentially supports the current backwards paradigm.  We believe we need to get back to this thing called “patients”.

LifestyleFacts.org will be the go-to resource on the web to empower lifestyle care.  The future of health care is online resources shared by both providers and patients – where everyone is reading off the same fact-based page for any given condition.  LifestyleFacts.org will be one of the pillars in this next-gen health care world.  Providers and patients will be empowered to take care “out of the box” and into real life.

We are working on building the most functional tools into LifestyleFacts.org.  Personal accounts that allow people to track what they have watched will allow reporting back to providers who have prescribed Lifestyle Medicine Education or obtaining credit for employer wellness programs.  Curriculum sets will allow people to watch a series of short videos to gain a specified knowledge base on a given topic.  Community functions will allow people to more fully engage effectively with lifestyle change instead of it just being them against the world.  And we look for input and suggestions from the Lifestyle Medicine community for what we should do that will be most useful.  So please, send us suggestions!  This site and project is about your practice.

We want to express a large amount of appreciation to Dexter Shurney, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer of Cummins, Inc, and to Cummins for their support and engagement on this project.  We look forward to seeing how this content plays a role in Cummins redesign of health care to a “treat the cause” basis.  We also want to acknowledge and thank our core expert panel:

Michael Greger, MD and NutritionFacts.org (including sharing their video content with LifestyleFacts.org)

Virginia Gurley, MD, MPH – expert in sleep medicine and all things circadian

Jerry Morris, PsyD, MBA, MSPharm – expert in behavioral health and integration of disciplines

Edward Phillips, MD – expert in exercise science

And we are looking forward to engaging with other experts in the broad scope of Lifestyle Medicine as we seek to bring the world’s best science into the lives of those we serve.

Final Note and Opportunity to Make a Difference

The LifestyleFacts.org project and many others acknowledge a great need for a shared database of relevant, current science on the topic, and component topics, of Lifestyle Medicine.  Because the pieces of Lifestyle Medicine are scattered in behavioral science, nutrition science, sleep science, etc, Lifestyle Medicine is professionally handicapped. The Foundation is committed to filling this void by the creation of a shared, scientific research database. This system we are setting up will be a structure in which health care professionals, students, residents, and others can contribute to this shared database.  The development of the field requires that we have a functional, tangible, shared scientific foundation for everything we do.

 

Volunteers are a critical component to compiling the research into a usable system and the Foundation continues to recruit volunteers for populating the database. The database will be available for contributions beginning Summer 2015.  Love the idea but are too busy to help build the database personally?  Your tax-deductible donations will support the staff needed to manage the database and it’s development.

Stay in the Loop

The beta version of LifestyleFacts.org is expected to come online in late Spring.  To stay in the loop on this, and other game-changing Lifestyle Medicine projects the Foundation is working on, sign up for our newsletter here. 


AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE

The American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) is the world's flagship professional medical association for physicians, clinicians and allied health professionals, as well as those in professions devoted to advancing the mission of lifestyle medicine.

       

© 2015 American College of Lifestyle Medicine

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