PAN University Groups

Our international network of medical students

About PAN University Groups

Nutrition education in university curricula around the world is far from optimal. Medical students rarely receive sufficient formal training in the nutritional sciences. These “physicians of tomorrow” are, therefore, often unaware of the importance of nutrition in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the most common non-communicable diseases.

Medical students can have a real impact on the future of healthcare. Therefore, we think it’s vital that medical students are given the opportunity to increase their knowledge about nutrition and how to implement it effectively in patient care. Many students are already motivated and eager to learn about nutrition. The international community created through the PAN University Groups network meets this demand and empowers students to take their nutrition education into their own hands.

The goal of PAN University Groups is to bridge that knowledge gap and enable medical students to organise and take part in numerous activities and projects on a local, national and international level to make nutrition a central part of university curricula and every medical students’ professional toolkit.

“…nutrition is insufficiently incorporated into medical education, regardless of country, setting, or year of medical education. Deficits in nutrition education affect students’ knowledge, skills, and confidence to implement nutrition care into patient care.”
Crowley, et al. 2019

Nutrition in medical education: a systematic review

Existing Groups

Click on a university name from the list below or browse the map for more information about each local group.

University Groups in Germany

FIRST CLOSED
Aachen
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Berlin
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Bochum
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Bonn
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Düsseldorf
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Dresden
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Erlangen
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FIRST CLOSED
Freiburg
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Gießen
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Göttingen
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Greifswald
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Hamburg
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Hannover
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Heidelberg
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FIRST CLOSED
Jena
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Köln (Cologne)
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Leipzig
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Lübeck
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Mainz
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Mannheim
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FIRST CLOSED
Marburg
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München (Munich)
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Regensburg
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Ulm
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Witten-Herdecke
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Würzburg
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International University Groups Coordinators

Inspired to join or start your own local group?

Our University Groups coordinators, Madeleine and Tim, are available to give you more information about getting involved and how you can join an existing local group or start your own.

PAN University Groups are already very well established in medical schools across Germany so take a look at our list of active groups above to see if your university is already represented. Feel free to reach out to the local groups directly or get in touch with our coordinators who can answer any questions you may have.

We welcome students and faculty members from medical schools around the world to join our growing international PAN University Group community. Please feel free to send us an email and the team will gladly support you in answering all questions.

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Join the @pan_university community on Instagram (in German) for additional content, news and updates from PAN University Groups.

Iss Das! – Nutrition as Medicine Webinar Series

Iss Das! (Eat That!) is a unique educational webinar series organised almost exclusively by student volunteers from the PAN University Groups. This series has been a huge success in Germany so far attracting thousands of medical students to take part.

It brings together renowned experts from diverse specialities of medicine and nutritional science in a series of online talks that have taken place across 3 seasons to date. Topics cover various medical specialities include nutritional medicine in cardiology, food and the climate crisis, gastroenterology and the microbiome, and culinary medicine.

Watch the webinar recordings from seasons 1, 2 and 3

Recordings of the majority of the webinars from all completed seasons of Iss Das! are available to PAN Members (student discount available) along with a number of other resources. Click the button below for more information on how to become a member.

“This success story is based on the hard work of our volunteers and the PAN University Groups. Volunteers are highly motivated and engaged with our mission and we can be a driving force for good when it comes to public health and how nutrition is viewed in medicine. I am humbled by this effort and proud of the PAN University Groups student community for making this possible.”
Mark Hofmann

Executive Director, Physicians Association for Nutrition

“This success story is based on the hard work of our volunteers and the PAN University Groups. Volunteers are highly motivated and engaged with our mission and we can be a driving force for good when it comes to public health and how nutrition is viewed in medicine. I am humbled by this effort and proud of the PAN University Groups student community for making this possible.”
Mark Hofmann

Executive Director, Physicians Association for Nutrition

“The record number of attendees shows us that nutrition and nutritional medicine need to be a much more central part of medical education and healthcare. That’s what we are working for at PAN.”
Niklas Oppenrieder, MD

Medical Director, Physicians Association for Nutrition

More about Iss Das!

Season 1 established the format and took place at the University of Cologne in the summer semester of 2020.

Season 2 was the largest ever curriculum initiative for nutritional medicine in Germany and took place between November 2020 and January 2021. The opening event on Thursday 5 November was to a sold-out crowd of 2,500 attendees. Medical students across Germany made up 87% of the total attendees for the 11-part series. The series also made history as the first CME-accredited ‘nutrition as medicine’ webinar series and was also officially an elective at 4 medical schools including Cologne and Munich (LMU).

Season 3 took place between April and June 2021. Season 3 included two Culinary Medicine events – the largest events of their kind to date worldwide (as far as we are aware). It was also CME-certified and an official elective at 7 German universities.

Season 4 is planned for 2022. Your local PAN University Group can keep you up-to-date or check our events page for more details.

Projects and Activities

PAN University Groups is led by a network of dedicated student volunteers who are passionate about bringing nutrition education to the medical student community.

There are many different projects and activities that the groups are involved in at a local, regional and international level to spread nutrition knowledge amongst their peers, transform regional and national food systems, and enhance scientific understanding and exchange.

Some examples of activities include:

  • Establishing student groups in their medical schools
  • Getting together for journal clubs or local social events (cooking evenings, movie nights)
  • Hosting and organising webinar series and other (virtual) educational events such as “Iss Das!”
  • Establishing PAN educational projects as electives
  • Spreading the word about PAN’s mission on campus (and on social media)
  • Promoting PAN Academy: our online education platform aimed at students
  • Promoting PAN events, resources and activities in the student network
  • Getting plant-based nutrition in university hospitals and cafeterias
  • Campaigning for healthy hospital food. See INGE for more information.
  • Getting involved in PAN’s growing international network of students, physicians and scientists.

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