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Eating disorders and nutritional education taught well: the experience of medical undergraduates
  1. Elliott Sharp1,
  2. Keegan Curlewis1,
  3. Kathy Martyn2,
  4. Elaine MacAninch3,4
  1. 1 Medical Student, Brighton & Sussex Medical School, Brighton, United Kingdom
  2. 2 School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton, Brighton, United Kingdom
  3. 3 Department of Medical Education, Brighton & Sussex Medical School, Brighton, United Kingdom
  4. 4 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, Brighton, United Kingdom
  1. Correspondence to Elliott Sharp, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton BN1 9PX, UK; e.sharp1{at}

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We thank Dr Ayton and Dr Ibrahim for publishing their insightful research into the current issues of the UK medical curriculum in the article, ‘Does UK medical education provide doctors with sufficient skills and knowledge to manage patients with eating disorders safely?’.1

We are two UK medical students who have undergone what we consider to be extensive and valuable training in eating disorders as part of our undergraduate curriculum. It is because of our personal experiences that we were disappointed to read the average time dedicated to eating disorder teaching in medical schools was under 2 hours.1 We feel that by sharing our experiences of education on eating disorders and nutrition, we will be able to support those involved with designing medical curricula.

At Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), we are first taught about eating disorders during the preclinical phase of the curriculum with lectures on anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa during the ‘Neuroscience and Behaviour’ semester.2 Interestingly, Ayton et al state that 50% of medical schools do not include questions on eating disorders in their final undergraduate medical examinations.1 It is not clear if the authors considered that medical schools such as BSMS assess eating disorders throughout the curriculum and not solely at medical school finals. This may have resulted in the authors under-representing the amount of examinable content medical schools deliver on eating disorders.

Knowledge of eating disorders is built on in our ‘spiral curriculum’ when medical students …

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