Medical Student Perception of Lifestyle Medicine and Willingness to Engage in Lifestyle Counseling: A Pilot Study of Allopathic and Osteopathic Medical Students

Jenny Sunghyun Lee, Imam M. Xierali, Paresh Atu Jaini, Zaiba Jetpuri, Frank Papa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction. This study assessed medical students’ perception of lifestyle medicine and readiness to engage in lifestyle counseling. Methods. All medical students in one allopathic and one osteopathic medical school received a survey involving items designed to measure their awareness and interest in lifestyle medicine, perception of physicians serving as lifestyle role models for patients, and intent to practice lifestyle counseling. Results. Two hundred and eight-nine subjects (145 allopathic and 144 osteopathic students) responded to the survey. A total of 24.1% of responding allopathic students had heard about lifestyle medicine compared with 53.9% of responding osteopathic students (P <.01). A total of 90.5% of allopathic students rated their current knowledge of lifestyle medicine as inadequate or poor compared with 78.7% of osteopathic students (P <.01). Ninety-two percent of all respondents wanted to learn more about lifestyle medicine, while 95.2% believed they would provide more effective counseling if they were trained sufficiently to serve as a healthy lifestyle role model for their patients. Conclusions. Both cohorts favored learning more about lifestyle medicine and believed physicians should provide lifestyle counseling to patients with chronic diseases. Given these findings, and the demonstrated benefits of lifestyle medicine–based health care, the authors suggest that training in lifestyle medicine be increased in undergraduate medical education.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Lifestyle Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • chronic disease
  • lifestyle counseling
  • lifestyle medicine
  • medical school
  • medical student

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