Reevaluating Biochemistry and Nutrition Education Through Opinions of Clinicians and Educators

Emily Hays, Jake Levine, Shruthi Rethi, Emily K. Smith, Sharmila Upadhya, Andrew K. Sobering, Tracey Weiler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Biochemistry is a core component of medical education as it contributes to the fundamental basis and understanding of molecular mechanisms in pathophysiological processes. The convergence of nutritional factors also gives insight to many chronic diseases. Topics of nutrition are often incorporated into biochemistry coursework and must be integrated in a way that makes sense within the overall curriculum. An important issue raised by this structure is determining which topics are most important to a student’s understanding and what topics are most relevant to future clinical practice. Previous surveys show medical undergraduates feel that much of current medical biochemistry coursework lacks clinical relevance and pays too much attention to small details. Here we report the results of a survey that aims to determine the biochemical and nutritional topics that physicians and educators feel are most important to teach in medical school. This information is important for medical schools to better prepare their students for what they will see and apply in their future clinical practice. Physicians and medical educators were surveyed, asked demographic questions, and then requested to provide a prioritized list of the top 10 biochemistry and nutrition topics that they believed should be focused on in undergraduate medical education. Topics suggested by participants were normalized for spelling, acronyms, and abbreviations and given a weight from 10 to 1. A prioritized list was then created based on the suggested topics. This list provides insight into the topics that medical educators and physicians consider important to cover in undergraduate medical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 15 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biochemistry
  • Curriculum priorities
  • Nutrition
  • Undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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