Culinary Medicine? I know that culinary has to do with food. I know that medicine has to do with healing the sick. I didn't know that there was actually a program of instruction that combines the two.

Well, there is. Tulane University in New Orleans is leading the way in the field. The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, a part of the Tulane School of Medicine, is fast becoming the standard by which all programs of this kind are judged.

We now have 28 medical schools across the country, as well as 6 residency programs and a couple of nursing schools that use our courseware in the same way that we do.

Dr. Tim Harlan, Executive Director of the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine made those comments to the Louisiana Radio Network.

The focus of the program is to bring about better understanding of  healthy eating and how important it can be in both preventing illnesses and coping with them, especially in cases of diabetes and heart disease.

The program teaches medical professionals better ways to communicate information about diet to their patients in a way they can understand.

We change the dialogue from talking about nutrition and the metabolic pathways to being able to communicate with our patients that information but in terms that they can understand.

A recent study suggested that nearly 75% of all physicians feel under trained in the subject of counseling patients on nutrition and diet. While the concept of healthy eating and better health have long been intertwined education on the subject has not been a part of the medical education process until just recently.

It is becoming, and I believe will become, the standard of care in medical education in the next 5 to 10 years, and the cool thing is that Tulane has been at the forefront of that.