The Culinary Medicine Program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Culinary Medicine Program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Leadership and Faculty

Dr. Farzaneh Daghigh

Department of Bio-Medical Sciences – PCOM
Professor of Biochemistry

Farzaneh Daghigh received her PhD in biochemistry from Temple University, School of Medicine. Later, she conducted postdoctoral research at the DuPont-Merck Pharmaceuticals. She then joined the faculty at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine as an Assistant Professor in 1998. Currently, she is a full Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Bio-Medical Sciences at PCOM. Her research in basic sciences involves the study of arginine metabolism and its involvement in airway remodeling of asthmatic patients.

Dr. Daghigh is the biochemistry content expert in the pre-clinical curriculum. She teaches biochemistry and nutrition to medical students and graduate students. She is the co-course director of the Culinary Medicine elective in which medical sciences meet cooking. She has served as a member of several committees, which spearheaded the curricular changes at PCOM. Dr. Daghigh passion is helping students understand, appreciate and integrate the basic sciences to remain as inquisitive physicians during their lifelong medical practice.

Dr. Daghigh believes in engaging students in their own learning and developed many collaborative active learning sessions known as “Enrichment” based on a Flipped Classroom curriculum. Her medical education research is geared towards the goal of inclusion of nutrition in the DO curriculum as best as possible. Her additional research has been on the use of nutrition education and behavior change in overweight individuals with metabolic syndrome.

Culinary Medicine Programming

Medical Student Programming

The culinary medicine elective is offered to 1st and 2nd year students. This elective is offered in spring to first year students or the fall to second year students. Students have opportunity to take this course two times. The course can accommodate 100 students in one class (1/3 of entire student body, 300 students total per class). COVID-19 disrupted the spring session class. They use 4 modules per elective. They teach this elective at the south and north Georgia campus which started last summer.

Residency Programming

No programming at this time.

Fellowship Programming

No programming at this time.

Community Programming

There is a Health Fest for the community culinary medicine programming.


Participating students found the Culinary Medicine elective to be a valuable part of their medical education. Since the course was offered to fourth-year medical students, who had completed their core clerkship rotations, these students were in a more favorable position to better understand how the knowledge and skills they were gaining could fit into the framework of clinical practice.

Students appreciated having the opportunity to learn how to prepare recipes that meet the guidelines of various diets that they may eventually prescribe. The combination of hands-on cooking and didactic sessions allowed students to deepen their own fundamental understanding of food and nutrition while providing a creative opportunity for the development of practical skills.


Funding comes from the President’s office.

Media Coverage

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