Coaching, Health, and Movement Program (CHAMPS) Taught by Medical Students: A Didactic Curriculum and Program Analysis
Purpose: The prevalence of pediatric obesity is increasing in the United States. While physicians are in a unique position to address pediatric obesity, nutrition education and counseling is insufficiently addressed in medical school curriculums. To fill this gap, one Midwest medical school piloted CHAMPS (Coaching, Health, and Movement Program with Students), a program where medical students learn about pediatric obesity and nutrition and coach families toward healthier lifestyle goals.
Method: This study evaluated the effectiveness of a 7-hour didactic curriculum and looked at changes in medical student knowledge, bias, and mentorship skills. The cohort included 35 first-and second-year medical students who completed a pre-test and two post-tests—one post-test after the didactic training and one after the 6-8 week coaching program with a family.
Results: After both the didactic curriculum and coaching sessions, medical students demonstrated statistically significant improvement in knowledge and mentorship skills with regards to pediatric obesity and nutrition. Medical students also reported feeling more confident answering questions and coaching families on healthy lifestyle choices. Medical student bias was unchanged after our intervention.
Conclusion: The CHAMPS program represents a promising experience for medical students and fills a gap in the traditional medical school curriculum.