Transcript: Medical Associations Oppose Bill to Mandate Nutrition Training
Given the fact that “7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases;” given that diet is a major factor; given how inadequate nutrition instruction is in medical school, a California bill was introduced, mandating physicians, anytime before January 1st, 2017, get 12 hours of nutrition training. That was obviously too radical, so the bill was amended. How about seven hours? Who could possibly argue that doctors shouldn’t get seven hours of nutrition? Who could possibly be in opposition?
Teresa Stark: “Thank you, Mr. Chair, and members. Teresa Stark with the California Medical Association. We are in opposition today. We would like to thank the author and his staff, and his proponents for talking with us extensively about this bill. CMA consistently, we have policy, that we oppose any CMA mandates on physicians. But the biggest concern is that this should be left up to the individual physician. I think we can probably all sit here and talk about a number of different topics that we think would be good for providers to take, in terms of CME. If we started to go down that road, it’s a very slippery slope, and there’s going to be lots of bills, lots of mandates. This is not something that, you know, kids aren’t getting. There are a number of voluntary efforts going on. The First Lady has an initiative. The soda companies are now putting calories on the front of the beverages for the total number of calories in the drink. That’s a positive move, and they’re responding to concerns toward sodas. So, there’s a lot of things going on that are going to solve this problem. There’s no magic bullet here. All of these things have to work together. We’re concerned that, that, not only will this not actually get to the problem, but could cause unintended consequences.”
The California Medical Association was opposed to mandating seven hours of nutrition training for doctors. What about the California Orthopedic Association?
Dr. Tim Shannon: “I’m representing the California Orthopedic Association. So, this is just one more additional—and it’s not minor—it’s seven hours; that’s a lot, even if it’s over one four-year period. Seven hours is a lot for one subject. These things become cumulative, and they get in the way of the physician being able to really stay on top of their own specialty and sub-specialty. And so for that reason, we’re opposed to this. Thank you.”
Surgeons are not known for their passion for prevention. But what about the California Academy of Family Physicians, though? Surely they’re in favor of a few hours every four years on nutrition for family docs.
Dr. Tom Riley: “I’m with the California Academy of Family Physicians. Ditto. It’s very, very difficult to keep up with it all. As Dr. Hat has pointed out, he said, ‘I, for one, don’t believe government should be involved in micromanaging.’ They have to make an intelligent decision about how to educate themselves, and also navigate all of the requirements that are put before them. I urge you to vote no.”
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Peter Mellor.
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