Culinary Medicine

The Power of Nutrition

healthy food

Resident wellness is an important part of today's medical training. We at the Washington Hospital Family Medicine Residency have had the good fortune of having support from our administration in maintaining wellness of the residents in our program. With the help of the POMA Mental Health Task Force and the POMA foundation, we were granted funding to support our idea to create an event combining resident wellness with nutrition integrated with medicine, notably, culinary medicine, inspired by the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University. 

 We were able to organize 3 separate events focused around nutrition education in the diabetic population. The head chef from our hospital cafeteria and dietitian from our wellness center teamed up to create healthy, delicious, diabetic friendly meals. During these events, we cooked these meals alongside our head chef, while gaining cooking tips. This was followed by a quick discussion of nutrition education for primary care providers for diabetic patients. We ended each session with time spent enjoying the company of one another over a healthy meal prepared by the group. 

We learned how meal preparation and cooking can be affordable, stress relieving, time saving, and healthy for ourselves and for our patients. Not only did we all become more comfortable with counseling our patients on nutrition, we also were able to enjoy the company of one another in a casual setting. Finding ways to implement wellness into your day-to-day with your colleagues is an important aspect of improving resident well-being. Whether it is scheduling fun activities together or taking a minute to check in on the mental status of the team, the well-being of your group is a crucial factor to overall success. 

Lastly, no matter how daunting residency may be, the hours, the responsibilities, etc., don't forget to take some time for yourself. You cannot adequately care for your patients if you do not first take care of yourself. 

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