Culinary Medicine Programming at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Culinary Medicine Programming at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Leadership and Faculty

Beth Dollinger, M.D.

Dr. Beth Dollinger is a board certified orthopedic surgeon with a strong interest in nutrition as well as teaching. She graduated from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and did a residency in orthopedic surgery at University Hospitals of Cleveland Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and then did a fellowship in Foot and Ankle surgery. She has been in practice for 30 years.

For the past 5 years she has been an instructor for The Lake Erie College of Medicine, teaching both medical students and residents. In 2013, she decided to investigate teaching nutrition to medical students and licensed the curriculum from The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine and started a Healthy Kitchens Culinary Medicine Program at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. The Arnot Ogden Medical Center is a community hospital in rural upstate New York. Since the inception of the program, she has taught 90 medical students, 30 family practice residents, and have run many community modules. Their CM program has also been involved with childrens programming, a local bank as well as local industry and Catholic Charities.

She received her Certification in Culinary Medicine last year. She is the only orthopedic surgeon in the country with this certification. None of this would have been possible without the support of her husband and 3 grown daughters. Her other interests are horseback riding, ballroom dancing, hiking, working out at the gym, and cooking.


Culinary Medicine Programming

Medical Student Programming

The Culinary Medicine program was brought to the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine by Dr. Beth Dollinger. It launched in 2013 and has grown steadily over the last seven years. For medical students it provides an innovative nutrition course that teaches them how to engage their patients in a meaningful dialogue about nutrition and lifestyle, looking to change to existing conversation around exercise and healthy eating.

There are 15 to 18 students who take the course and complete one module a week between September and November each year. There are also experienced medical student volunteers who help in the grocery shopping and social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

They team launched virtual Culinary Medicine curriculum during the summer of 2020.  A local food bank donates boxes of food for the programming.  Forty medical students in the programming via Zoom using the adapted Health meets Food programming.

The team has also implemented FoodRx program starting in 2020 that is focused on addressing food insecurity seen in their clinics. This programming includes two nutrition teaching days and assignments, such as PowerPoints, quizzes, and readings.

Residency Programming

No programming at this time.

Fellowship Programming

No programming at this time.

Community Programming

Community classes being offered. The community programming is at the First Presbyterian Church where using the onsite kitchen. The community programming has been running for 2 years.

There have been 40 modules over the past five years completing six complete Health meets Food Adult Beginner Community Class series. There are also topics on bariatric care, spondylithiasis, and Lyme disease that have been incorporated into the community efforts as well as pediatric programs that are delivered each summer.

Media Coverage

Southern Tier Healthy Kitchens hosts free cooking classes for kids

Arnot medical students to learn about culinary medicine


Participating medical students found the Culinary Medicine elective to be a valuable part of their education. The community programming has also been rewarding.


Funding was provided by the Arnot Health System.

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