Objective: The clinical importance of nutritional awareness and assessment has become evident over the years. This study aimed to investigate the nutritional attitudes, personal perceptions and behaviors, and basic knowledge levels of physicians working in the General Surgery Clinic, University of Health Sciences.

Methods: A total of 37 physicians working in the General Surgery Clinic, University of Health Sciences were included in the study. A previously evaluated and proven Nutritional Questionnaire and Mini Knowledge Assessment Exam were applied to the participants. With the questionnaire, previous nutritional trainings, clinical nutritional awareness, personal nutritional competence, practice, and nutritional patient education were assessed. After the questionnaire, a multiple choice mini test was applied to evaluate basic nutritional clinical knowledge.

Results: The study sample included 37 physicians, including 19 (51.4%) specialist physicians and 18 (48.6%) residents working in the General Surgery Clinic, where nutritional evaluation was performed. It was observed that the participants highly approved of nutritional awareness and importance factors. Considering the participants’ application of nutritional parameters in the clinic, weak application was observed in 6 physicians (16.2%), moderate application in 25 physicians (67.6%), and strong application in 6 physicians (16.2%). In the results of the mini test applied for the knowledge evaluation of physicians, very low level of knowledge, low level of knowledge, medium level of knowledge, good level of knowledge, and very good level of knowledge were detected in 1 (2.7%), 1 (2.7%), 3 (8.1%), 19 (51.4%), and 13 (35.1%) physicians, respectively. Good and very good knowledge levels were observed in a total of 32 (85.5%) general surgery physicians. It was observed that the only factor affecting the clinical practice of nutritional parameters by the participants was not feeling sufficient and self-confident in terms of nutrition (p=0.04). In the comparison of specialist physicians and residents, no statistically significant difference was observed in terms of nutritional education status, nutritional questionnaire opinions, and nutritional knowledge levels (p>0.05).

Conclusion: Participants basically know the concept of nutrition and are aware of its importance, but they are of the opinion that there is a sense of personal inadequacy and lack of self-confidence in clinical practice.

Keywords: General surgery, nutrition, nutrition awareness, nutrition questionnaire