No, most doctors will not understand medical exercise training (MET) but dont let this be a deterrent. Most physicians realize exercise is beneficial for their patients but as far as prescribing specifics with exercise, such as activities, frequency, duration and progression, they don’t know. Doctors aren’t trained to know exercise. They are trained to diagnose and treat disease. In learning to treat disease, they perform surgery, write prescriptions; read x-rays; and interpret diagnostic tests…exercise prescription is not part of the standard medical school training.
But in their defense – which would you prefer? You go to the emergency room at 2 am with a sick child. Would you want the physician to have the ability to interpret the diagnostic test(s) to determine your child’s illness and the best course of treatment or do you want a physician that understands exercise programming? I’m pretty sure the majority of you would say, “I want a physician that can diagnose”. If you agree and you’re a medical exercise professional, then it’s your job to start educating physicians on the benefits of medical exercise training. In addition, the education should explain how medical professionals can refer their patients for medical exercise training.