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Nov 4 2010

Getting started with NEPP: “Bite-sized nutrition education for practicing physicians

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The Nutrition Education for Practicing Physicians (NEPP) program at UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health teaches nutrition to physicians in active clinical practice. Training modules are completed online and, for now, are available to registered users free of charge. Read on for more information about NEPP and instructions for accessing the curriculum.

Q: What nutrition topics are covered?
A: NEPP currently offers 14 targeted modules on subjects such as behavior change counseling, primary prevention of cancer, glycemic control for patients newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, taking a dietary supplement history and more. The program also offers 10 longer foundational reviews that provide more in-depth nutrition knowledge as it applies to aging, pregnancy and lactation, infancy and young children, dietary supplements, micronutrients, sports nutrition and cancer.

Q: How much time does it take to complete a training module?
A: Targeted modules take between five minutes and 15 minutes to complete—the program directors call them “bite-sized.” Foundational modules take about 45 minutes to complete.

Q: How do I access the courses?
A: Courses are available at Click on “Practicing Physicians” for a brief overview of the program.

Q: Do I need to register to access the courses?
A: Yes. Select “Webcourses Login” to register. You will be asked to provide your name and email address. Don’t forget to select “Physicians” or “Residents” (whichever is appropriate) when asked to identify your institution.

Q: Who is NEPP trying to reach with its curriculum?
A: The program directors are currently reaching out to residency training programs to encourage them to use the NEPP curriculum. However, the content should be of value to most physicians or physician assistants.

Q: I don’t practice primary care. Would the NEPP curriculum be of value to me?
A: Probably. NEPP’s directors believe that, potentially, all physicians can benefit from the training modules due to the unique position physicians occupy in society. People frequently approach physicians outside of clinical settings (at cocktail parties, on the sideline of a soccer match, etc.) to ask medical advice, including advice about nutrition.

Q: Can physician assistants use the NEPP curriculum?
A: Yes, for the time being, the program is open to PAs as well as physicians.

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