Cross-sectional questionnaire study to gather the teaching preferences and expectations of UK undergraduate medical students for culinary medicine learning
Jessica Ying-Yi Xie, Shoba Poduval, Victoria Vickerstaff, Sophie Park
Aim :To determine undergraduate medical students’ teaching preferences and expectations for Culinary Medicine (CM) learning with a view to informing development of a CM course at a UK medical school. Setting: A single, urban UK medical school. Participants: 180 undergraduate medical students. Study design: A cross-sectional questionnaire study collecting quantitative and qualitative (free-text) data. Methods and outcome measures: An online questionnaire consisting of 16 questions of various styles (Likert-type, multiple choice and free-text). Quantitative analysis of multiple choice and Likert-type scale questions was conducted. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to analyse the free-text responses and identify themes. Results: Three core themes related to students’ understanding of CM were identified: (1) ‘CM Learning’: students’ perceived relevance of CM knowledge, perceived relevance of CM to healthcare and their expectations for teaching; (2) ‘The Relationship between Food and Health’: links between diet, social factors and health; and (3) ‘Evidence-based Medicine’: students’ perceptions about scientific principles underlying CM. Quantitative analysis revealed that, although 83% of students felt that learning CM is important for their future clinical practice, 56% felt unable to take a dietary history. 73% of students were dissatisfied with the quality, and 78% were dissatisfied with the quantity, of existing medical school teaching understood to be relevant to CM. Topics that students would like to be taught on a CM course included weight management and portion control. Students felt that problem-based style learning would be the most appropriate method for delivering CM teaching. Conclusions: This study revealed that medical students felt their dietary counsulting skills could be improved with further clinically relevant teaching in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Students’ preferences for CM learning have been taken into consideration in the development of a CM course for fifth-year undergraduate students at a UK medical school, which is delivered during their General Practice placement.