Here we go again. Doctor bashing is a tried and true way to bring up a hidden agenda, and this article takes one of the standard approaches, claiming inadequate education and training.
They studied 4 and 6 week medical student clerkships and concluded: “it seems physicians’ and medical students’ education about obesity is often limited and inadequate, and historically has been received from sources outside of their formal medical school education”.
Here’s my conclusion: Despite the fact that the role of the clerkship is to give every medical student a view of real patient care in each specialty, FP clerkships managed to find time between patient visits to teach over 3/4 of the students about obesity and it’s comorbid conditions, as well as diet and weight loss for obesity (what little is known). They did not often add to the previous classroom education on medications for weight loss, meds that cause weight gain, and bariatric surgery. They also didn’t teach obesity bias. Perhaps in this day and age the effect of subconscious biases of all types are taught in the classroom, but if not I’m sure they are still teaching in all clerkships that the art of diagnosis does not include jumping to conclusions.
These types of articles are common in the lay press, and AAFP generally doesn’t publish at a much higher level. They leave so many questions unanswered. Why do they exclude our entire education and training? Why do they denigrate learning on one’s own in a field where a doctorate is awarded and we are supposed to have learned enough to know how to fill in the gaps and keep up to date? Is FP the only clinical clerkship where these issues can or should be addressed? Often the topics for articles like this are so universal that they are literally covered in nearly all aspects of our education and training, and the criticism is merely that there is no set course with the particular topic in it’s name. And most importantly, who benefits from this type of doctor bashing?
Well Contrave is kind of new in Canada where I practice so I thought it might be that. Our Contrave paid physician dinner had an expert tell us how useless lifestyle change is and presented as settled science what little we know about the process of satiety that it may work on. (Please comment on your experience with this med.) When I looked it up and realized the US has had it a few years I then looked further and found out there are several more new meds coming down the pipeline. To take these author’s conclusions literally, none of us now practicing will ever learn anything about them. But we’ll make sure the young do even before they’ve been proven. I’m just glad I learned somewhere in my medical curriculum, (though I can’t say exactly where so maybe I didn’t really learn), never to be the first or last to adopt a new treatment.