Fitness to practise
Should medical students be made to exercise?
- By: Fraser Brown
Imagine that there is a medical treatment that prevents and abates many common diseases. It is free and accessible to every healthcare system in the world. Hippocrates advocated it,1 and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has guidelines to support its effective prescription.2 In sensible doses it has no severe side effects, and it can be great fun. It sounds amazing; surely every medical student is taught about this wonderful treatment?
Recent research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) highlighted a deficiency in medical school curriculums—teaching on exercise.3 Medical students are not being taught enough about the importance of exercise and its use as a possible clinical intervention.
This could be a dangerous omission in a time of burgeoning levels of diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle and obesity.456 These are all non-communicable diseases that are potentially susceptible to changes