(CNN)On Friday, Weill Cornell Medical College offered a seminar to its second-year medical students, one that’s been offered only once before.
The focus wasn’t cutting-edge pharmacology or modern microbiology but instead, five lecturers exploring different facets of a single topic: “Prescribing the Medicine of Exercise.”
This isn’t as typical as you might think. More than half of the physicians trained in the United States receive no formal education in physical activity, according to a 2015 study. The study authors discovered that most medical colleges do not offer physical activity-related courses, and the rare exceptions are often electives.
The Weill Cornell seminar, a required class for students, is co-directed by Dr. Jordan Metzl and Dr. Marci Goolsby, both sports medicine physicians at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York with faculty appointments at Cornell. The seminar teaches medical students how to counsel their patients to exercise, one of the most effective forms of preventive medicine.