Exercise is the best medicine - training the doctors of the future

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Nottingham University Medical School has launched a pioneering new resource which it is hoped will help train doctors all over the world in the importance of exercise in clinical treatment and disease prevention.

The new module has been developed by an international team of exercise medicine experts in response to the global obesity epidemic and resulting guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The ‘Nottingham University Medical School Core Exercise Medicine and Chronic Disease’ module has been designed to fill a gap in current undergraduate medical education. The course aims to promote the prescription of exercise by doctors, to tackle the growing burden of preventable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory conditions.

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Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, 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.”

Safe and effective advice

The new training resource has been coordinated by Nottingham alumna Ann Gates, a member of the World Heart Federation Emerging Leaders Programme 2014. Ann said: “Unfortunately, undergraduate medical schools have not been giving a high enough priority to the promotion of exercise in disease prevention and treatment. Our new undergraduate module aims to put this right. Tomorrow’s doctors need to be trained to deliver safe and effective exercise advice for tomorrow’s patients as all clinical practitioners are important influencers of patient behaviour.” 
The Nottingham University Medical School, ‘off the shelf’ Core Exercise Medicine and Chronic Disease Module is a comprehensive package of teaching resources including:
a learning module adapted from an accredited continuous professional development (CPD) training course, ‘Motivate-2-Move’.
a 10 x 1 hour slide set series on the key aspects of exercise medicine, chronic diseases and surgical care. The introductory slide sets have been adapted for use with permission from Kings College Medical School.   
national and international recommendations including best practice advice for physical activity tailored to specific non-communicable diseases. 

Important awareness

Mr Ian Ritchie FRCS, President of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh) has contributed material from his pioneering Exercise and Surgery resource which promotes the use of exercise in pre and post-operative care. He 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 4 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.”  
The new module will be made available as a University of Nottingham e-learning resource and also via the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM).  
Ann Gates has written an editorial on the project in the BJSM available here  
Contributors: This initiative has been led by Ann Gates. The team acknowledge the wealth of resources and people that have contributed to the development of this generic resource, especially: The Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh), Nottingham University, Kings College London, Professor Karim Khan of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, The Wales Deanery, the Faculty of Sports and Exercise Medicine, The Royal College of Physicians Sports & Exercise Subcommittee, British Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Professor Ian Hall and Professor James Lowe.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, in the top 10 for student experience according to the Times Higher Education and winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Story credits

More information is available from Ann Gates on +44 (0)7771 650052 or email ann@exercise-works.org; or Emma Thorne/Emma Rayner, Media Relations Manager in the Communications Office at The University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 9515793, emma.thorne@nottingham.ac.uk/emma.rayner@nottingham.ac.uk 

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Published Date
Friday 8th October 2010

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