Scientists at University College London have published findings this week regarding the current curriculum of British Medical Schools.
The study, presented by Dr. Richard Weiler, found that physical activity is vital in both the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.
All 31 Medical Schools in the UK were surveyed. The study found that instruction on the benefit of exercise in undergraduate course is currently ‘sparse or non-existent’ throughout medical education.
“It is vital that tomorrow's doctors understand the basic science and health benefits of physical activity. The aim of this study was to assess the provision of physical activity teaching content in the curricula of all medical schools in the UK”, said Weiler.
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“There is a major disconnect between undergraduate medical education and clinical guidelines for long term conditions.”
Five of the schools did not include any specific teaching on physical activity, whilst the verdict on others was that the teaching was not as comprehensive as was necessary. The vast benefits of physical activity need to be made clearer to patients, and in order to do that, new practitioners need to be confident in discussing the subject. Evidence shows that a lack of exercise contributed to 5.3 million deaths last year, even more than deaths related to smoking, therefore the encouragement of activity needs to be one of the foremost concerns for young doctors.