This month-long virtual course started March 1, 2023, and is offered by the Columbia International Collaboration and Exchange Program (ICEP). It follows the framework of the internationalization of medical education at home. Internationalization of medical education (IoME) can enhance medical students’ understanding of worldwide social, cultural, and ethical differences, thereby leading to global-minded and socially accountable physicians who can solve healthcare problems collaboratively in the future. Thus, connecting future physicians globally makes them feel part of a global medical community.
This elective aims to provide an understanding of the intersection(s) between food, nutrition, planetary health, and cultural competency. The course combines important areas of medical education in one class. Students will learn how to view the topic of food and nutrition from a global and culturally diverse viewpoint, with a healthy planet in mind, while working in groups with senior medical students from around the world. International class discussions and expert faculty lectures will provide insight into different aspects of food and nutrition.
Students will build upon their existing nutritional knowledge and learn about the theoretical underpinnings of healthy nutrition worldwide in 2023. Furthermore, they will gain insight into planetary health and how access to food and social determinants may affect global health. They will learn how healthy nutrition is viewed in different societies and cultures and explore how to best teach patients from different backgrounds about food and nutrition in a culturally sensitive manner. Also, students will learn what a healthy diet means to a physician’s wellbeing.
By the end of the elective, students will have developed a better understanding of food and nutrition globally. They will be able to provide nutritional consultation to patients with a better awareness of cultural competency, both domestically and abroad. Furthermore, students will build collegial relationships with senior medical students from leading universities worldwide and begin constructing a network of like-minded physicians to solve healthcare issues collaboratively.