The Professional Certificate of Medical Nutrition Management teaches the role of therapeutic diets in the treatment of chronic illnesses and other nutritional disorders, highlighting the principles of the nutrition care process as applicable in a primary care setting. You will learn key nutrition assessment techniques and intervention strategies that will assist you in providing comprehensive health care to your patients. The course teaches the foundations of dietary guidelines and how they can be applied in general practice to better manage chronic diseases, malnutrition, weight loss, and other conditions.
This course is the first part of the three-part Professional Diploma of Medical Nutrition Management. The education pathway is Professional Certificate of Medical Nutrition Management, Advanced Certificate of Medical Nutrition Management and Professional Diploma of Medical Nutrition Management. You might also be interested in the Primary Certificate of Medical Nutrition & Chronic Disease.
Entry Requirements and Course Requisites
The Professional Certificate of Medical Nutrition Management is tailored for medical practitioners who wish to gain a better understanding of nutrition management in order to improve patient outcomes, especially for those patients with conditions commonly seen in general practice, such as obesity, diabetes, pregnancy, cardiovascular disease, cancer and eating disorders.
The course is suitable for medical doctors, degree-qualified nurses who work under their supervision, degree-qualified health professionals, and International Medical Graduates. The course assumes no prior knowledge or training in the field.
Participants do not have to pass an IELTS test but, as the courses are delivered in English, proficiency in listening, reading and writing English is assumed.
Participants will require access to a computer/laptop, an internet connection and a basic level of technology proficiency to access and navigate the online learning portal.
Professionally recognized qualifications and prior studies may be recognized for entry into this course if the learning outcomes match exactly. Please ask a HealthCert Education Advisor for an individual assessment of your prior qualifications and experience.
- How dietary guidelines can be used to guide treatment
- Approaches for the management of chronic disease: Mediterranean, MIND, vegetarian, high protein, low GI
- Myths and fads: keto, paleo, intermittent fasting, 'I quit sugar'
- Organics, coconut oil, superfoods
- Vitamins, minerals and supplements
- Gastrointestinal health
- Malnutrition in older adults
- Talking with patients about weight management
- Bariatric care
Course Participants Will:
- Have the opportunity to replay video lectures from medical experts.
- Participate in discussion of patient cases, evaluate and make decisions.
- All presentation slides available for download.
- Participate in course webinar prior to the examinations and ask questions.
- Receive unlimited and ongoing access to free alumni learning resources, video lectures, and discussion forums, as well as invite-only events and special offers after completion of the course.
- Receive ongoing support post-course through webinars and case review.
- Have the opportunity to participate in optional clinical attachments at dedicated nutrition clinics.
Module 1 – Understanding Dietary Guidelines and How They Can Be Used to Guide Treatment
This module provides a comprehensive overview of the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) and the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, and how these guidelines lead to smarter choices and healthier lives, guides policy and informs industry. Nutrient reference values and the link to food choices and chronic disease is highlighted. Recommended servings are listed for each of the five major food groups. The module compares the Australian guide with international dietary guidelines. A case study is presented examining patient food consumption and suggests better food choices to meet the patient’s goals. References and guides are presented throughout the module.
Module 2 – Dietary Approaches for the Management of Chronic Disease
This module focuses on the role of nutrition and diet in the aetiology of major nutrition-related chronic diseases. Most chronic diseases are responsive to improved dietary choices. The dietary management of conditions including weight concern, coronary heart disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, cancer and chronic kidney disease are outlined. Recognized dietary options such as plant-based diets, Mediterranean diet, DASH diet, vegetarian and MIND diet are discussed in detail. The module concludes with the discussion of isolated food groups and macronutrients in managing chronic disease including low glycaemic index (GI) food, low fat and high protein diets.
Module 3 – Bursting Common Myths and Fads
This module focuses on comparing and evaluating current popular diets against the Australian Dietary Guidelines. The description and pros and cons of popular diets including paleolithic (paleo) diets, ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, gluten-free and ‘I Quit Sugar’ diets are discussed. The module then focuses on distinguishing the credible, evidence-based facts of nutrition information against unreliable nutrition myths to ensure patient safety in primary care. The organic vs non-organic, coconut oil usage, green juices and smoothies are discussed. Common red flags and a list of trusted are provided.
Module 4 – Vitamins & Minerals: When are Supplements Necessary?
The module focuses on the role of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and outlines the classification of the micronutrients that are essential to optimal health whilst also considering good dietary choices. It includes an overview of vitamins and minerals, the context for micronutrient supplements, indications for the use of micronutrient supplements, myths and claims and further considerations for patient management. Micronutrient deficiencies and toxicities that can alter normal body functions are included together with outlining how supplementation impacts chronic disease outcomes. Patient case studies are included for osteoporosis and pregnancy. Micronutrient deficiencies and toxicities are included. The module concludes with a discussion on micronutrient myths, claims and future considerations.
Module 5 – Nutrition in Gastrointestinal Health
This module focuses on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It outlines the diagnosis, burden and pathophysiology of this condition including symptoms of food intolerances and the role of elimination diets as a treatment option. The mechanisms, clinical effectiveness, potential consequences and practical application of a low FODMAP diet are explained in detail. Guides on when to refer a patient to a dietitian are also outlined. The module concludes with a discussion on the role of diet and gut microbiota in the aetiology of gut conditions, including focusing on the microbiota in IBS.
Module 6 – Malnutrition in Older Adult: Identifying and Managing Nutritional Risk
This module defines malnutrition and includes an overview of the malnutrition burden and the prevalence of this condition in older adults. It recognizes that ageing is associated with increased multi-morbidity and that a significant number of older adults may not be able to shop for food and prepare meals. It focuses on the implementation of nutrition screening and assessments with validated screening tools including the Malnutrition Screening Tool, the Mini Nutrition Assessment and the Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool plus others, to identify signs and symptoms associated with malnutrition. The Global Leadership Initiative on Malnutrition consensus diagnostic criteria is included. Common nutrition interventions and strategies used by GPs are discussed including the ESPEN Geriatric Guidelines and the importance of minerals and water in geriatric care. The module concludes with a case study to reinforce learning.
Module 7 – Talking with Patients About Weight Loss and Weight Management Strategies
This module focuses on using effective communication and counselling strategies to support patients with weight concerns. Weight management, BMI and mortality including management of weight biases are outlined. Included are dietetic assessment tools and recommendations, followed by a step-by-step approach to discussing weight management including the STATE and RULE guides. Crucial conversations and motivational interviewing techniques are covered incorporating a person-centred approach and suggestions for individualized patient advice. The content covers barriers and enablers. The module then discusses the non-diet approach focusing on healthy eating and positive body image. The topics of eating disorders and unhealthy eating behaviours conclude this module.
Module 8 – Bariatric Care: Complete Nutritional Guide for Pre and Post-Surgical Patient Care
This module focuses on bariatric surgery and describes the most common bariatric surgery procedures including laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, sleeve gastrectomy and Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass. Although less common, laparoscopic biliopancreatic diversion with/without duodenal switch is also discussed. The benefits, complications, effectiveness and success of these surgeries are outlined. Eligibility criteria for bariatric surgery is included as well as screening patients for suitability. The module then discusses the role of nutrition for all bariatric surgery stages including pre and post-operative nutrition management, micronutrients and macronutrients targets, common deficiencies and complications post-surgery. New behaviours for a bariatric patient in order to significantly improve their long-term health and weight success post-surgery is included. A case study reinforces the module content.
Course Delivery and Assessment
The Professional Certificate of Medical Nutrition Management is fully delivered online. We offer a ‘start anytime online’ course structure, which gives flexible start and completion times for studies, as well as exam extensions, to fit in with busy schedules. Participants can enjoy the flexibility to study at their own pace, in their own time, within their home or office, and on their favourite mobile device. The modules are set up in such a way that participants are not required to be online at specific times but can view and replay the video lectures at their convenience. The webinars offer the opportunity to join and interact with the presenters online in real-time but can also be viewed later. There are no face-to-face requirements for exams which can be conveniently completed online within six months of the course start date. With no travel, accommodation or out-of-office expenses incurred, participants can build critical skills and tailor their career while working in a busy practice or raising a family.
There are eight units in a HealthCert professional diploma program. The course is delivered over 15 weeks with 12 weeks of teaching followed by three weeks for revision and final examinations. The course includes online presentations from experts in the field followed by patient case discussions and decision-making. There is a final webinar prior to examinations. You will also receive valuable 12 months' web-based support from the speakers and participate in regular online learning sessions with the opportunity to ask any questions you might have as you implement your learning.
The Course Includes:
- All presentation slides available for download.
- Access to additional learning resources, reference materials and video lectures.
- Reading list with references to peer-reviewed journal articles to keep up-to-date with developments in the field.
In order to meet the requirements of professional and academic learning, the course assessment includes a professional requirement and two online examinations.
- Develop a one-page report/explanation of how you will use the learning from this course in your professional work.
- 88 knowledge questions based on a scenario of a medical practitioner undertaking special interest training.
- 11 per module, Example: The medical practitioner believes that 10% of the population … Is he correct? Yes/No
- 88 authentic scenario based questions based on cases of patient care at a clinic
- 11 per module, Example: A patient arrives at your clinic with this problem … What should you do? Multiple choice images based on patient cases.
The knowledge-based examination is worth 50 per cent and the application-based examination is worth 50 per cent. The overall pass mark is 80 per cent. It is therefore not possible to pass this course on knowledge alone. Knowledge must be successfully applied to patient cases in order to pass the course.
HealthCert recommends completion of the assessment at your convenience within six months of the course start date.
Certification and Accreditation
Upon successful completion of the course requirements, course participants will receive the Professional Certificate of Medical Nutrition certificate and below points. To learn more about the delivery of certificates in Australia and overseas.
Face to Face Courses
Course transfers for Face to Face practical workshops are available, subject to requests being received, in writing, a minimum of 10 business days prior to workshop commencement. Transfer requests received after 10 business days prior to workshop commencement will incur an Administration Fee of $250.
Transfers will be subject to availability in the future workshops. If the future workshop has a cost differential, that price will apply, and any additional charges will be payable at the time of the transfer request.
One workshop transfer, per course is allowed. Further transfers will be considered upon application and may be charged at 25% of a full new workshop booking rate.
Transfers for Online courses are available subject to requests being received, in writing, within 7 days of enrolment. Transfer requests received after the 7 days post enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $200. One course transfer request, per course is allowed.
If the future course being transferred to, has a cost differential, that price will apply, and any additional charges will be payable at the time of the course transfer request.
Online Cancellations and Refunds
Cancellation and a full refund of the course fees will be provided if a request is received, in writing, a maximum of 7 days after course enrolment. Refund requests received later than 7 days after course enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $250. Upon cancellation and full refund of the course enrolment, you will not receive a certificate or accreditation points.
Courses purchased as part of a bundle attract a discount. This discount is apportioned to the final course in the bundle in the cases of cancellations and refunds. Therefore, cancellation and refund requests of a course that have been purchased as part of a bundle are refunded based on the first and/or second course being charged at the full price rate. Any courses remaining in the bundle can be refunded provided the request is received, in writing, a maximum of 7 days after course enrolment. Refund requests received later than 7 days after course enrolment will incur an Administration Fee of $250.
Online Modules and Assessment
8 Online Modules
Prof. Liz Isenring
Program Head, Master of Nutrition and Dietetic Practice, Bond University Associate Dean of Research, Bond University
Professor Liz Isenring is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian passionate about improving the quality of life of patients and their carers via evidence-based nutrition. Liz is Head of Program for the Master of Nutrition and Dietetic Practice, and the Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine at Bond University. She is recognised internationally as an expert in nutrition during treatment for cancer and for older adults. Liz has held several leadership positions including in AuSPEN, Dietitian Connection and MASCC, has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers and received more than $3 million AUS in research funding.
Dr. Jaimon Kelly
Senior Teaching Fellow, Bond University
Dr Jaimon Kelly is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and Senior Teaching Fellow at Bond University. Jaimon works in private practice and consults primarily for chronic disease nutrition. He is also an early career researcher passionate about improving patient-centred care in chronic disease, is an advocate for patient-engagement in both the clinical and research setting, and has a strong interest in exploring new ways to deliver dietary education to improve people’s dietary self-management.
Dr. Kate Morgan
Academic, Bond University
Dr. Lauren Ball
Senior Research Fellow, Griffith University Early Career Fellow, NHMRC Associate Editor, Australian Journal of Primary Health Executive Committee Member, Australasian Association for Academics in Primary Care
Dr Lauren Ball’s vision is that all Australians are supported by a health care system that allows them to reach their full potential in life. This will be achieved by making nutrition a prominent part of the ongoing care they receive in general practice – the first point of contact with the health care system.
Lauren has worked with community members, health professionals, education providers and professional bodies to conduct research on how patients can be better supported in general practice to eat well. She implements interventions and programs so that general practitioners, nurses, dietitians, nutritionists, pharmacists and other health professionals feel confident in nutrition and have the skills to best meet patients' needs. She also works with Primary Health Networks to better understand how primary care services can be reoriented to put nutrition and other lifestyle behaviours at the forefront of the health care system.
Lauren has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and attracted over $1 million in research funding from government bodies, non-government organisations and philanthropic foundations. She is a Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University and an NHMRC Early Career Fellow. She is also an Associate Editor for the Australian Journal of Primary Health and Executive Committee Member of the Australasian Association for Academics in Primary Care.
Senior Teaching Fellow, Bond University
Kathryn Nolan is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with more than 20 years’ experience. She has worked in many cosmopolitan, rural and remote areas of Queensland, Australia. Her extensive experience includes both hospital and community positions for Queensland Health as well as a successful private practice within a general practice setting. More recently she became a Senior Teaching Fellow at Bond University.
Business, Communication and Leadership Consultant, Health Leadership Australia Co-Founder, Sophus Nutrition
Tara Diversi is passionate about combining nutrition, psychology and communication to help clients make positive change to improve their health. She is an Accredited Practising Dietitian with two post graduate qualifications in psychology and an MBA majoring in marketing, which complement her dietetic qualifications. Tara works as a business, communication and leadership consultant with Health Leadership Australia. She is the co-founder of Sophus Nutrition, a platform that combines nutrition with behavioural economics and technology to bring dietetic care into homes of patients across the globe.
Dr. Heidi Staudacher
Dietitian & Postdoctoral Researcher, Food and Mood Centre, Deakin University
Dr Heidi Staudacher is a dietitian and postdoctoral researcher at the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University. Her chief research interests include the pathophysiology and dietary management of functional gastrointestinal and mental health disorders, and the interaction of diet with the microbiome in these disorders.
Heidi was a NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellow at King’s College London between 2012-2016 and during her PhD conducted a large randomized controlled trial investigating the effect of a low FODMAP diet with probiotic co-administration on the gastrointestinal microbiota, symptoms, dietary intake and quality of life. She has published several key papers in the field of dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr. Ingrid Hickman
Principal Research Fellow, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Princess Alexandra Hospital and Mater Research Institute-UQ
Dr Ingrid Hickman is a Principal Research Fellow with the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and the Mater Research Institute-UQ in Brisbane, Australia. Ingrid’s work specialises in investigating the metabolic factors that contribute to obesity-related chronic disease, particularly the role of diet and exercise as potential treatment options for chronic liver disease.
Ingrid collaborates nationally and internationally with multidisciplinary teams to deliver scientifically robust evidence for better management of obesity-related disease. The focus of her research team is to translate medical research findings into improved evidence-based practice for clinicians treating people with obesity-related chronic disease.