An Interprofessional Culinary Medicine Activity
Interprofessional education occurs when students from two or more professions learn about, from and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes¹. The University of Nicosia Medical School continues to expand these opportunities for its students with trainees and professionals of other programmes to nurture their capacity to work collaboratively as members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team for optimal patient and community health. Furthermore, the Medical School is working to enhance the students’ understanding of the role of lifestyle in health and the part they can play to support people’s wellbeing.
On February 2023, Year 1 medical students from the Graduate-Entry MD (GEMD) programme joined students from the Culinary Arts Programme of Intercollege in a Culinary Medicine activity to understand more about local Cyprus produce and food practices and to discuss how to support healthy home cooking for their future patients or clients. They prepared together a whole plant-based meal that highlighted the Mediterranean cuisine using local Cyprus products. The activity was developed and led collaboratively by Chefs Maria Charitou and Christiana Siatha of Intercollege’s Culinary Arts Programme and Drs Maria Cecilia Mosquera and Chloe Antoniou of the UNIC’s Medical School.
Year 1 GEMD student Eleanor Roy said ‘Together with the Culinary Arts students we went to the Ochi square open-air market to explore the farmers’ local produce and to buy fresh whole foods. We learnt what was in season at different times of the year and saw for the first time some local traditional foods such as taro root. We also explored the components of the Mediterranean diet, and in particular the importance of olive oil. The following day, we teamed up with the culinary arts students and used the fresh produce to create flavoursome foods. We learnt that a diet full of whole foods and of nutritional value can be so easy to make, it doesn’t have to be a complex recipe! With this activity and along with the health and nutrition classes of this semester, we came to realise how important it is to prepare and eat healthy meals. This collaborative activity proved to be very inspiring!’
We look forward to future interprofessional collaborations in Culinary Medicine that will allow us to explore and share the importance of the combination of the art of cooking with the science of medicine².
If you are interested in learning more about Culinary Medicine and Interprofessional Learning (IPL) at UNIC Medical School, or have ideas for IPL activities and would like to collaborate, please contact [email protected]
¹ Health Professions Network Nursing and Midwifery Office within the Department of Human Resources for Health.Framework for action on interprofessional education & collaborative practice. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2010.Accessed 18 January 2021 from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/70185/WHO_HRH_HPN_10.3_eng.pdf?sequence=1 .
² Puma J. Culinary Medicine and Nature: Foods That Work Together.Am J Lifestyle Med. 2020 Jan 7;14(2):143-146. doi: 10.1177/1559827619895149. PMID: 32231479; PMCID: PMC7092399.