Medical education and training faces several challenges as the focus shifts to disease prevention and wellness. Medical education traditionally has placed more emphasis on diagnosis and treatment than on prevention and healthy habits. In turn, this lack of training has led to many health care providers not having the necessary skills or knowledge needed to encourage wellness and avoidance of disease.
The current medical education system does not prepare healthcare professionals to deal with lifestyle-related problems such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Lifestyle changes can often help prevent these diseases, yet many doctors are not equipped to guide patients through this process.
Multidisciplinary approaches are needed to prevent and promote disease. Collaboration with social workers and public health practitioners is needed to address social determinants such as lack of access healthy foods and unsafe environments. Medical education does not always prepare doctors to be able to work with colleagues from other fields.
A shift from the current healthcare system to one that emphasizes prevention and promotion of health is also required. This change requires changes to healthcare policies, payment structures and healthcare systems. This shift requires changes in healthcare policies, reimbursement structures and healthcare systems.
The new focus on wellness promotion and preventing disease presents significant challenges to the current system of medical training and education. In order to meet these challenges medical education has to be adapted to give healthcare providers the training and skills they need to prevent and promote disease. It may be necessary to adopt a multidisciplinary strategy, collaborate with other professionals and change the delivery of healthcare.