The Culinary Medicine Program at Virginia Commonwealth University


Leadership and Faculty of the Culinary Medicine Program at Virginia Commonwealth University

Deb Koehn, MD, FACP, BC-ADMDeb Koehn, MD, FACP, BC-ADM

Board Certified in Clinical Lipidology
Certified in Culinary Medicine
Assistant Professor at VCU Stony Point Women’s Health

Graduate Education

MD, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine 2003

Post Graduate Education

2006 – Present, Virginia Diabetes & Endocrinology, P.C. Richmond, Virginia, Internal Medicine and Diabetes
2008 – Present, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University
2008, Diabetes Program Chair for the Women’s Health 16th Annual Congress in Williamsburg, Virginia
1996 – 1999, Development Director and Volunteer Coordinator, AIDS/HIV Services Group, Charlottesville, Virginia
1994 – 1996, Lab Specialist Senior, University of Virginia, Infectious Disease Research Laboratory, Charlottesville, Virginia
2003-2006 – Internal Medicine Residency Program – VCU School of Medicine

Affiliate Departments

Internal Medicine

Professional Affiliations

Virginia Chapter of American College of Physicians
Planning Committee Member for Annual Meeting, 2012 and 2013
Resident and Clinic Task Force Committee Member, 2003 – 2006
Geriatric Student Advisory Committee, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 2002
Student Health Advisory Committee, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 1999


Culinary Medicine Programming at Virginia Commonwealth University

Medical Students

VCU began offering Culinary Medicine programming in the 2018 – 2019 academic year.  The course is taught at the Health Brigade but moved to the new kitchens at the J. Sargent Reynolds Community College in the Spring or 2020.

Dr. Koehn leads the programming with other faculty including physicians, chefs and nutritionists as a 4th year elective.  There are four cohorts per year with 8 to 10 students in each cohort as a one month block.  Each week of the elective covers specific subject matter and is launched with a review of the USDA guidelines.

Health meets Food modules include

Module 3 – Fats
Module 5 – Protein and Vegetarian Diets
Module 6 – Sodium Renal
Module 7 – Carbohydrates.

The elective also includes a Journal Club on Tuesdays and a grocery store on Thursday with a nutritionist. This helps with provisioning and the team uses a different grocery store each week to detail how the pricing and such works. Students are required to use apps such as MyFitness Pal to track food and determine their own Mediterranean Diet score. They also participate in a SNAP Challenge by creating menus to feed themselves on $5.00 per day.

Students are also required to create presentations on a subject that is of interest to them. Each presentation is about 7 minutes. They also create a food video that they can use to teach patients.

The elective also offers two service opportunities. One is the Eat and Learn at the Food bank. There is a second opportunity at the Tricycle Gardens, an urban farm that grows food for sale at corner markets.

Residency Programming

None at this time.

Fellowship Programming

None at this time.


Community Programming

Dr. Koehn’s cardio-metabolic clinic has been able to offer patients two sessions in the kitchen. This is part of a woman-focused clinic and involves consultation with the nutritionist as well as a grocery store tour.