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Genes to Society: A Curriculum for the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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TIME: Obesity, Nutrition and Behavior Change

This four-day course occurs after Scientific Foundations ends in December of Year One. Using obesity as a focus for study, the course uses mini-lectures, small-group discussions, clinical skills training in the medical interview and in counseling for behavior modification, and reflections on a personal attempt for lifestyle change.

Course Goals

By the end of this course, the students will be able to:

  • Discuss how normal nutritional needs change over the life cycle from newborn through old age.
  • Describe how nutrition, physical activity and other lifestyle choices affect health risks, lifespan, and quality of life.
  • Discuss the biological, ethical, and public health aspects of obesity in adults and children.
  • Describe approaches to the prevention and treatment of obesity in adults and children.
  • Obtain a thorough nutritional history.
  • Initiate a motivational interview to promote weight loss.
  • Identify aspects of their personal experiences with lifestyle change that can be applied to patient education and management.

Course Director

Dr. Watkins

Paul Watkins, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
Research Scientist, Kennedy Krieger Institute

Associate Directors

Larry Cheskin, MD

Larry Cheskin, MD
Director, Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center

Jeanne Clark, MD, MPH

Jeanne Clark, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine
Director, Division of General Internal Medicine

Ann McDermott, PhD

Ann McDermott, PhD
Center Assistant Director
Associate Scientist

Time Commitment and Course Length

The course runs for 14 hours over 4 days.
Typical schedule for TIME: Obesity, Nutrition and Behavior Change:

Time Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4
8 a.m. Introduction; Normal Nutrition: Pediatrics and Adult Case Studies 1; The Obesity Epidemic: Creating a Mind Map Ethics and Professionalism in Clinical Care Students' Self Reflection on their attempts at Lifestyle Changes Student Presentations
9:30 a.m. Normal Nutrition: Pediatric & Adult Case Studies II; Physical Fitness Clinical Skills: Mini-lectures and CAP Obesity/Nutrition Counseling
11 a.m. Obesity Case Studies I College Advising
12 p.m. Obesity Case Studies II Obesity Case Studies III

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