To: Michael J. Ryan, M.D.
Associate Dean for Curriculum – University of Washington Medical School
Cc: Brian Seppi, MD, President, Washington State Medical Association
Kathy Lofy, MD, Interim State Health Officer, Washington State Department of Health
February 24, 2015
Dear Dr. Ryan,
We are writing to you in your capacity as Associate Dean of the UW Medicine curriculum. We have heard that you have been conducting a review of the medical curriculum. We are writing to ask you to include the science of vegetarian nutritional medicine in the didactic portion of medical training, and its practice as a therapeutic in the clinical portion of medical school education.
The Prescribe Vegetarian Campaign
Teach doctors to use this powerful medicine
Are plant foods the miracle drugs of the 21st century? It may seem surprising to think that a vegetarian diet could be used in just the same way doctors use drugs and surgery, but those who promote the medical benefits of a vegetarian diet have a powerful ally on their side: science! A healthy vegetarian diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts is powerful medicine. We call it Vegetarian Nutritional Medicine.
For the physician, all relevant research comes into actual practice in the clinic. For the patient, the clinic is where they receive their treatment and interact with their doctor on an ongoing basis. Very often, clinical technique makes the key difference for patient compliance and successful treatment. So the Vegetarian Prescription considers the clinical experience of physicians practicing vegetarian nutritional medicine to be a vital source of knowledge and experience. To make this knowledge more widely available, we are posting a series of interviews with various current practitioners.
Interview with Keith Hanson MD. practicing Family Medicine, in Eastern Washington.
With diet being the leading health risk factor in the United States[i], one would think that it would occupy a central position in medical education, continuing education and practice. But unfortunately that’s not currently the case. It turns out that, as a group, our nation’s physicians are not adequately trained in nutrition to provide the care their patients need.