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Medical students to get exercise course

A medical school claims to have developed the first course of its kind aimed at teaching future doctors how to encourage fitness in their patients.

The core exercise medicine and chronic disease module is to be introduced at Nottingham University.The university has set up the course with backing from a clinical pharmacist who founded the Exercise Works organisation. It includes a series of slides on fitness, adapted from King’s College Medical School London, together with an adaptation of a training course Motive-2-Move, already offered to doctors as part of continuous professional development.

There is also material about the use of exercise with surgical patients, contributed by Ian Ritchie, president of the Royal College of Surgeons. Mr Ritchie said: “Data shows us that post-surgical mortality can be as high as 22 per cent in patients with low fitness levels, whereas fitter patients had only a four per cent mortality rate so the benefits of exercise are undisputed. This new resource will embed an important awareness of the importance of physical activity early in medical careers across all specialisms and disciplines.” 

Medical school dean Professor Ian Hall said: “Nottingham has a proven track record of pioneering innovation in medical education and we hope this new resource will have a profound impact on how doctors are trained, nationally and internationally. “We believe exercise should be an integral part of the prevention, treatment and management of many chronic or non-infectious diseases and the medical profession should be more pro-active in its promotion of physical exercise in the future.”

An extract of the article from the British Journal of Sports Medicine is available here.