Physical Activity Curricula in Medical Schools


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Abstract

Regular physical activity has many known health benefits, yet relatively few physicians counsel their patients about physical activity or exercise. The cited barriers to performing this type of counseling include lack of knowledge and skill, and data show that physicians are more likely to counsel patients about physical activity if they have adequate knowledge of the subject. Health promotion and disease prevention are watchwords in medical education today, yet with regard to these there are relatively few data on exercise or physical activity curriculum in medical schools. A recent survey showed that only 13% of U.S. medical schools provide a curriculum in physical activity. The authors discuss the need for changing the medical school curriculum to increase knowledge of the benefits of physical activity and develop counseling skills for modifying patients' behaviors.

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