Throughout ‘Meals as Medication’ intersession, UB college students develop expertise to assist inspire sufferers to make more healthy way of life decisions – UB Now: Information and views for UB college and employees

Campus Information


Printed January 21, 2022

headshot of Daniel Sheehan.

Eat wholesome and train: It’s the commonest New Yr’s decision folks make and sometimes fail to attain. However this yr, UB college students have acquired new expertise they’re placing to make use of in native clinics in an effort to inspire their sufferers — and themselves — to make higher way of life decisions.

In partnership with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, 170 third-year college students within the Jacobs College of Medication and Biomedical Sciences and 30 dietetics college students within the College of Public Well being and Well being Professions took half earlier this month in a two-week intersession with a “Meals as Medication” focus.

Marla Guarino, affiliate director of well being and well-being on the BNMC, kicked off the occasion by discussing the nationwide Meals As Medication motion, and BNMC’s convention on the subject final fall. Beth Machnica, director of well being and well-being, joined the session’s closing day to explain how Jacobs College college students can take part within the Meals as Medication analysis research that BNMC has launched with its latest Blue Fund award.

Meals as Medication grant

“In 2022, BNMC will conduct a Meals as Medication analysis research, supported by HighMark Blue Cross Blue Defend, that goals to contribute to the present physique of analysis whereas persevering with to foster clinical-community partnerships — together with with the Jacobs College,” Guarino stated. “The UB/Jacobs College/BNMC partnership will assist guarantee future well being care practitioners purchase an in-depth understanding of the hyperlink between meals and well being to make use of of their continuum of care.”

The benefits of this interprofessional session will show to be excess of tutorial, in accordance with Jacobs College college organizers. This semester, armed with their new, ”Meals as Medication” data and expertise, Jacobs College college students shall be incorporating into third-year clerkship and clinic rotations locally new methods to inspire sufferers to eat more healthy.

“Our college students usually are not simply vessels to be crammed with data,” famous Daniel Sheehan, affiliate director of medical curriculum and professor of pediatrics who has directed the annual intersession for third-year college students for the previous seven years. “They’re a terrific worth to our well being care system and they are often co-agents of change with us.

“That is the entire level of a tutorial medical heart,” Sheehan continued. “In a world the place medical doctors and medical residents are busier than ever, our college students present such nice worth.”

Virtual intersession "Food as Medicine Friday" meeting.

Sourav Sengupta, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, talks about “motivational interviewing” throughout the Zoom session. Photograph: Sandra Kicman

Appreciating the care workforce

The intersession “Meals as Medication Friday” on Jan. 7 was designed as an interprofessional exercise to get UB’s aspiring physicians and dietitians to understand how the well being care workforce of the longer term is healthier geared up to fulfill the wants of sufferers and shoppers.

The 2 weeks culminated with a closing day dedicated to dialogue of findings in scientific papers which have demonstrated, for instance, how dietary interventions with sufferers with diabetes may end up in higher outcomes than pharmacological interventions.

“Having an occasion the place medical and dietetic college students come collectively to share their data might help learners develop an perspective of appreciation for different well being care professionals and reinforce the necessity to search interdisciplinary options for his or her sufferers’ issues,” stated Alison Vargovich, assistant professor of medication within the Division of Behavioral Medication within the Jacobs College.

“Interprofessional alternatives usually are not typically constructed into the standard curricula of the well being sciences, so these periods are extraordinarily helpful,” added Jill Tirabassi, scientific assistant professor of household medication.

“The earlier that college students see the mixing between the completely different aspects of the well being care workforce and achieve an understanding of what their colleagues do, the higher they will make the most of their experience once they enter their occupation,” she defined. “Our academic programs haven’t been designed to do that naturally, so with the ability to make this occur now’s fantastic and can foster future collaboration.”

Grocery store challenges

Below the path of Nicole Klem, director of the Scientific Vitamin MS/dietetic internship within the College of Public Well being and Well being Professions, second-year dietetics college students developed a presentation for medical college students about particular aisles within the grocery store that pose distinctive challenges for customers.

Medical college students discovered that opposite to what some folks have heard, low-fat dairy merchandise don’t essentially have a better sugar content material. They mentioned options to dairy milk centered on soy, oat, almond, pea and different non-dairy milks; it was famous that whereas cow’s milk accommodates about 8 grams of protein, soy and pea milk may be comparable, however almond and oat milk present much less protein per serving.

Cereals, infamous for his or her excessive sugar content material, have been additionally mentioned, and it was advisable that sufferers ought to select cereals with 5 grams of sugar or much less. Canned items have been singled out as being handy and inexpensive, however they will include extreme quantities of sodium, which might usually be considerably decreased just by rinsing the contents earlier than cooking.

After a full of life dialogue of wholesome consuming ideas, the medical college students started to deal with the a lot tougher query of how one can inspire sufferers to make more healthy way of life decisions. It’s a difficulty, college confused, that lies on the very essence of the observe of medication.

Getting sufferers ‘unstuck’

“I posit to every of you that it doesn’t matter what home of medication you go into, 90% of the job is convincing your sufferers to get somewhat unstuck, to get off the fence, to take new motion to enhance their well being,” stated Sourav Sengupta, assistant professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, who sees sufferers by UBMD Psychiatry.

Sengupta famous that Jacobs College college students have been listening to about behavioral change in medication since yr certainly one of their coaching, and {that a} key talent is the approach known as motivational interviewing, or MI.

“Motivational interviewing is a option to be centered on the place the affected person is, how they could be caught and the way we might help them take that subsequent step,” he stated.

It’s a way that has been described much less as a approach of pushing somebody to do one thing and extra as a option to domesticate the circumstances the place change is extra probably.

“Motivational interviewing is a mode of communication that ought to really feel like ‘dancing’ quite than ‘wrestling’ with a affected person,” Vargovich defined. “This creates a patient-centered focus, giving the affected person autonomy over their well being decisions and fostering rapport between the physician and affected person. The goal is rarely to power a change, nevertheless it makes it simpler to know a affected person’s perspective and considerations, plant seeds associated to creating vital well being adjustments and supply training as wanted.”

Beginning Jan. 10, the third-year Jacobs College college students headed again out to native clinics to start out sharing what they’d discovered. “Our college students have gained a terrific understanding of meals as medication,” stated Sheehan. “They are going to be going out into the neighborhood as messengers to speak to sufferers and different well being care suppliers about wholesome diets and brainstorm how one can enhance diet when sufferers live in ‘meals deserts.’

“With coaching like this, we’re empowering them to assist us rework well being care in Buffalo.”

Different college concerned within the intersession included Michael Morales, analysis affiliate professor of physiology and biophysics; A. John Ryan, scientific affiliate professor of medication; Helen Cappuccino, scientific assistant professor of surgical procedure at UB and assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Complete Most cancers Middle; and Gary Giovino, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus within the College of Public Well being and Well being Professions.

Funding for the four-module, on-line diet course “What Each Clinician Must Know” (from the Gaples Institute, a physician-led, academic, nonprofit group) that was accomplished by all third-year medical college students was supplied by the Gerald Friedman, MD ’57 and Roberta Friedman Medical College Curriculum Analysis and Schooling Fund.