Why All Doctors Should Have Better Eating Disorder Training

Most health care professionals are not well trained in interacting and treating men and women who battle eating disorders. This often leads to insensitive comments and poor overall quality of health care. Unless practitioners have a special interest in learning about and treating eating disorders, they do not receive specific training in this area. Many patients hear insensitive comments regarding their disease and low weights, and many are even told their weight is enviable. For someone struggling with disordered body image and eating habits this can set them back significantly in their recoveries. Other patients, who have not yet been diagnosed, do not get help with their low weights for much longer than they should. This is likely due to poor recognition of eating disorders, again likely related to lack of education and training in this realm. One young woman is developing a series of videos with the National Eating Disorder Association to help better train primary care providers in regard to eating disorders. Not only does it address the medical side of eating disorders but it also includes sensitivity training. These videos will be free in order to promote greater awareness and more appropriate care for those with eating disorders.

Key Points:

  • 1While obesity is clearly an issue, doctors often overlook the dangers of eating disorders that cause patients to be too thin.
  • 2Often doctors can’t identify patients with eating disorders simply because they aren’t stereotypically thin.
  • 3A person with body dysmorphia cannot reconcile what his/her body is with how they perceive it even if they’re aware of the difference intellectually.

Unfortunately, many doctors receive inadequate training when it comes to identification and sensitivity regarding eating disorders.

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