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Prescribing Nutrition

Free online course for GPs, medical students & health professionals

Our course is designed to fast-track GPs, medical students and health professionals in Australia and New Zealand, teaching how to improve patient outcomes through plant-based nutrition.

Learn how to tackle a leading cause of disease and early death

Poor nutrition is one of the top risk factors for health loss, yet research shows that nutrition is insufficiently incorporated into medical education. In many cases, medical students and doctors receive little or no education on nutrition.

Delivered by doctors and dietitians, the material will support you in understanding how plant-based nutrition can be a tool in disease prevention and management. By the end of the course, attendees will be comfortable to:

  • Describe the principles of a healthy, sustainable plant-based eating pattern;
  • List ways to assist patients in achieving positive dietary shifts;
  • Undertake a rapid assessment of a patient’s diet; and
  • Develop nutrition goals in collaboration with patients and support problem-solving to overcome barriers.

The course includes on-demand lessons in nutrition essentials, a recorded GP webinar which outlines how to support patients with diet change, and insights from health professionals in day-to-day practice.

Prescribing Nutrition

This activity has been approved for 8 CPD hours (4 Educational Activities and 4 Reviewing Performance) by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and 8 PDP hours with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

Course curriculum

Nutrition essentials – On-demand lessons

  • Introduction, Dr Heleen (Roex) Haitjema
  • The Best Diet for Health, Dr Shireen Kassam
  • Tips for Nutrition in Practice, Emma Strutt APD
  • How to Talk to Patients about Diet, Dr Alyce Churchill
  • Recommendations for Success, Dr Luke Wilson
On-demand lessons

GP webinar recording

Speakers: Dr Adrian Griscti, Dr Stephanie Dakin, Dr Luke Wilson, Dr Malcolm Mackay.
Topic: What works when supporting patients with diet change

Featuring a number of doctors who specialise in plant-based nutrition, this webinar explores how to put evidence into practice with patients.

GP webinar

Insights for day-to-day practice

Access further insights from health professionals who have been putting nutrition into practice, including Dr Martyn Williamson on Communication Considerations and Deeni Betar-Young, APD, on Tips for Buying and Preparing Food.

Insights for day to day practice


Undertake an exercise to try out new tools and techniques with your patients, then submit a written observation of your experience. On completion of the course content, the assignment and the feedback form, a certificate will be issued.

Bonus live webinars

From 2023, optional live webinars with plant-based GPs and other health professionals will be offered to past and present Prescribing Nutrition students.

Course duration

We anticipate this will take approximately 8 hours in total to complete. Please be aware that the patient consultations that form part of the assignment and the weeks that may pass between the initial and follow-up consultations will add to the timeframe, as will the time to mark the assignment (which can take up to 21 business days, depending on the level of submissions at the time).

Some participants finish the course in less than 6 weeks, whereas others may prefer to take up to the full 6 months offered.

What did our previous students think?

Nutrition plays an integral part in the wholistic care of a patient’s health. Until this course I had not considered its weight as part of the healthcare conversation. As an aspiring general practitioner, I see nutrition now as something that I want to strive to integrate into the assessment of each patient, as important as the smoking history, and broached as often as blood pressure is measured.

Medical student, Victoria

Nutrition has always played a BIG role in the care of my patients but I am very excited to have the printable resources available to provide to my patients as well as collated data, success stories and the support of a ‘movement’ of a group of qualified health professionals. It is validating to practise with nutrition as a focus as it is embraced to some level by most patients and they are often thankful that they have found a doctor that does not push prescriptions as a first resort.

GP, Queensland

Aside from helping me fill the gaps in my knowledge, it has made me more aware of gaps in my knowledge. I believe that I am now more able to counsel future patients on nutrition, but also significantly more aware of how little I know in this space, and that I have to further educate myself.

Medical student, Queensland

When I think about care of patients in the future, I see myself as a physician using food as medicine for patients. Nutrition address the root cause of several diseases and there is no disease that does not benefit positively from good nutrition. I think many doctors need to be retrained in understanding how helpful nutrition could be.

Medical doctor (specialist)

I loved the course and all the helpful and practical resources you provided! I also recommended it to fellow physicians that are interested in nutrition and in holistic care. I find that the topics from the course are very relevant for my everyday practice as a GP. It is frustrating that we are not being taught the importance of nutrition and how to best work alongside families at university or even during residency.


I think it would be naive and professionally negligent to not consider nutrition and diet when caring for a patient as a health practitioner. Every GP should know this information. Whether it's managing chronic conditions or promoting healing and recovery, good nutritional recommendations will continue to improve the quality of life in patients as well as empower patients to make informed dietary choices.

Medical doctor, CANADA

This course has further reinforced the significant impact lifestyle medicine can have on patients' lives and helped my confidence in encouraging patients to rethink their diet as a likely contributor to their current ill health. It has also given me tools to help them along the journey to a more healthful, sustainable diet.


I wish I’d known this early in my medical career …

This sentiment is echoed by many healthcare professionals who now understand and appreciate the strong link between nutrition and disease. What I learnt later in my life after my retirement changed the way I viewed medicine forever. My eyes were opened to the healing properties of whole food plant-based nutrition and the direct connection between what patients eat and the conditions they suffer.

I became fascinated by the abundance of well-executed studies that all indicate that a healthy whole food plant-based diet is not only preventative for many chronic diseases but can also play a curative role in stopping and often reversing disease.

I had wondered why this wasn’t covered in what I had learnt at medical school. It is something so powerful, yet isn’t currently taught in many medical schools.

I understand the desire to see your patients not only manage medical conditions, but to thrive.

I understand the hesitation and reluctance some of you may have towards assessing and discussing patients’ diets, especially if it’s not an area you’ve studied in depth.

I understand the feeling of confusion with all the seemingly conflicting dietary information out there.

Doctors for Nutrition have created this course to help increase your understanding of a whole food plant-based diet and its connection to the conditions your patients will seek your advice about every day.

We want to equip you with the necessary knowledge to feel comfortable discussing a nutrition prescription with your patients.

We owe it to our patients to provide them with the full range of options and evidence-based treatments available to them.

Patients trust their doctors and look to you for advice about how to lead a healthier lifestyle or manage their conditions. I’m sure you’ll agree, being able to facilitate lifestyle changes that will help your patients thrive as their health improves is far more rewarding and satisfying than simply managing their chronic conditions. You have the opportunity to offer more than medications and procedures; you can treat the dietary and lifestyle factors that are the cause of the issues.

We’re excited to embark on this journey with you.

Dr Heleen Haitjema

To assist Doctors For Nutrition in providing the course as an ongoing offering, free of charge for healthcare professionals, we were fortunate to receive a grant from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (CNS). CNS was not involved in the design of the Prescribing Nutrition course or the content in any way.

By enrolling in Prescribing Nutrition, you agree to receive periodic updates from Doctors For Nutrition. You may unsubscribe at any time. 

Not a health professional?

If you’re not a health professional and are interested in learning more about plant-based nutrition for health, please review the Further Resources page on our website, which contains educational resources designed for a wider audience.