Inter-Professional Education in Bariatric Care

A few weeks ago, I posted on a workshop co-organised by the Canadian Obesity Network and the University of Alberta’s Health Sciences Education and Research Commons, on developing a curriculum for inter-professional bariatric care.

The purpose of this project is to build interdisciplinary, interprofessional curricula that can be used by health science faculty and programs for pre-licensure education in obesity.

Barriers to including obesity as a topic in existing curricula include: limited number of experiential learning opportunities available, coupled with broad coverage required; stigma and weight bias, coupled with lack of faculty education/knowledge regarding medical or surgical management of obesity; lack of faculty understanding and acceptance of obesity as a chronic disease; timing and location of obesity content within existing concepts and; the expense of equipment for practical training and limited access to facilities with bariatric patients.

Nevertheless, the following topics were rated as very important to extremely important for students to learn about:

• Weight bias and stigma
• Causes and consequences of obesity
• Obesity prevention
• Obesity treatment
• Adult obesity
• Childhood and adolescent obesity
• Care giving for patients with obesity
• Pregnancy and obesity
• Surgical interventions for obesity

Now the hard work of actually developing and implementing these topics in a curriculum that fits into the already jam-packed curricula of medical, nursing, rehab, pharmacy, psychology and dietetics students begins – no one thinks this will be easy.

A full report of this workshop can is available here.

Edmonton, Alberta