Nutrition Education for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Fellows: Survey of NASPGHAN Fellowship Training Programs

Martinez, J. Andres*; Koyama, Tatsuki; Acra, Sari*; Mascarenhas, Maria R.; Shulman, Robert J.§

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: August 2012 - Volume 55 - Issue 2 - p 131–135
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e31824ee535
Original Articles: Hepatology and Nutrition

Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the methodology and content of nutrition education during gastroenterology fellowship training and the variability among the different programs.

Methods: A survey questionnaire was completed by 43 fellowship training directors of 62 active programs affiliated to the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, including sites in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The data were examined for patterns in teaching methodology and coverage of specific nutrition topics based on level 1 training in nutrition, which is the minimum requirement according to the published North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition fellowship training guidelines.

Results: The majority of the teaching was conducted by MD-degree faculty (61%), and most of the education was provided through clinical care experiences. Only 31% of the level 1 nutrition topics were consistently covered by >80% of programs, and coverage did not correlate with the size of the programs. Competency in nutrition training was primarily assessed through questions to individuals or groups of fellows (77% and 65%, respectively). Program directors cited a lack of faculty interested in nutrition and a high workload as common obstacles for teaching.

Conclusions: The methodology of nutrition education during gastroenterology fellowship training is, for the most part, unstructured and inconsistent among the different programs. The minimum level 1 requirements are not consistently covered. The development of core curriculums and learning modules may be beneficial in improving nutrition education.

*Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

§Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Houston, TX.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to J. Andres Martinez, MD, 2200 Children's Way, Nashville, TN 37232 (e-mail: andres.martinez@vanderbilt.edu).

Received 1 September, 2011

Accepted 27 January, 2012

Biostatistics services were provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Digestive Disease Research Center supported by NIH grant DK058404. The present study was supported by the Daffy's Foundation, the USDA/ARS under Cooperative Agreement No. 6250-51000-043, and P30 DK56338, which funds the Texas Medical Center Digestive Disease Center.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the USDA, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the US government. This work is a publication of the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2012 by European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,