Health on the Menu for Yale Medical Residents

As preventable diseases continue to affect a growing number of people in the U.S., a partnership at Yale is providing medical residents with the opportunity to connect with patients in new ways.

The Yale School of Medicine Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program has implemented a new Community Engagement Curriculum for 2015-16, focusing on nutrition, health and the importance of being able to communicate with patients around healthy food choices and evidence-based lifestyle changes. As part of the curriculum, twenty-five primary care residents have already participated in a workshop where they harvested vegetables at Yale’s West Campus Urban Farm, and learned to convert ingredients into simple dishes and nutritious menus.

“We want our residents to be able to offer practical advice about local food systems and healthy eating habits, and to enhance their abilities to integrate preventative health in their regular communications with patients”, said Chief Resident, Sanjeet Baidwan MD, who is leading the new Curriculum alongside Tracy Rabin MD, SM, Julie Rosenbaum MD, and Justin Freiberg of Yale’s West Campus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than a third of US adults are obese, while related conditions such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes are some of the leading causes of preventable death. Through this collaboration, the Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program is seeking to leverage the contribution of Yale’s urban farms to help the next generation of primary care providers to work with patients to implement sustainable, evidence-based lifestyle changes. More workshops are planned throughout 2015-16.