GW launches nutrition concentration for integrative medicine program

The George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. will now offer a nutrition concentration for students enrolled in its Master of Science in Health Sciences (MSHS) in Integrative Medicine. This is the first MSHS program to offer a nutrition focus, according to a statement released by the university earlier this week.

The new concentration, which is offered as part of a 36-credit online program, will give students a foundation in integrative medicine, and extensive nutrition education. Courses include nutrition assessment, diagnosis, and intervention; nutritional metabolism and environmental exposures; self-care methods in integrative medicine; food technology and health; and nutritional immunology.

The program is accredited by the American Board of Physician Specialties and the American Board of Integrative Medicine, and graduates of the program will be eligible to sit for the Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists Certified Nutrition Specialist exam. Physicians may opt to complete the fellowship program for further clinical, business, research, and leadership skills.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree, 3.0 grade point average or above on a 4.0 scale, and completed coursework in biochemistry and anatomy or anatomy and physiology.

Eating an unhealthy diet is the main contributor to the global burden of disease, according to the World Health Organization, triggering the United Nation’s Decade of Action on Nutrition. However, education of healthcare providers and those in health-related fields excludes or only superficially covers nutrition, the university said.

The integrative medicine community has long-known nutrition is key to the prevention of and the first line therapy for chronic disease, such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. However, surveys routinely report that these healthcare providers feel unprepared to counsel their patients on nutrition.

The MSHS in Integrative Medicine with a concentration in nutrition, the university says, will address these knowledge gaps and help those in health professions master nutrition and nutrition counseling.