- The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) recently began introducing a culinary medicine curriculum to its health professions students.
- Culinary medicine is where medicine, cooking, education and healthy living overlap. UAMS is adopting a curriculum created by culinary medicine pioneer Timothy Harlan, M.D., director of Tulane University’s Gold ring Center for Culinary Medicine.
- The curriculum format pairs fun, hands-on cooking activities with a nutrition science discussion about the meal and techniques for encouraging patients on ways to improve health and/or impact chronic disease through healthy eating
- Arkansas ranks in the top 10 nationally for obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The curriculum includes modules on dietary changes for those conditions and more, including food allergies and pregnancy.
- A campus teaching kitchen is planned, where its students will be able to cook and learn. The kitchen will host medical school small group classes and interprofessional programs for students in pharmacy, nursing, physician assistant and other health professions program.
- A test course was recently taught to some medical students. The UAMS Fertility Center recently hosted a cooking demonstration for women with polycystic ovary syndrome or pre-diabetes who are planning pregnancy.
- Culinary medicine will be a medical school elective starting in the Fall 2019 semester. The goal is to have 20 medical students taking the elective course every eight weeks. In the lnterprofessional Education program, about 25 students will complete a culinary medicine module each month.
- The curriculum will be offered to students on the UAMS Northwest Campus, which is working with the Brightwater Center for the Study of Food at Northwest Arkansas Community College.
- Like the Goldring Center at Tulane, UAMS will expand its culinary medicine program to include continuing education for health professionals and community activities.
- Research and scholarly activity will evaluate program impact on nutrition education and chronic disease management.