Aug 10, 2014

New EPA-funded web-based CME course on healthy fish consumption care practitioners know the challenges presented when trying to answer the myriad of questions surrounding fish consumption. There isn't a simple yes (wear a bike helmet) or no (don't smoke) response. Eating too little fish can deprive young children of nutrients important to their development; eating too much can expose them to harmful toxins present in nearly all seafood. The best advice a practitioner can give is to encourage patients to strike a balance.

I recently completed work on the development of a web-based CME course, Healthy Fish Choices ( The EPA-funded course is now out of the pilot stage and available at a minimal cost. Healthy Fish Choices provides practitioners with the research-based knowledge needed to authoritatively advise patients and offers guidance on how to smoothly and efficiently incorporate fish-consumption questions and advice into our practices.

As you may know, last fall, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Practice Committee issued an opinion that stated:
Reducing exposure to toxic environmental agents is a critical area of intervention for obstetricians, gynecologists, and other reproductive health care professionals. Patient exposure to toxic environmental chemicals and other stressors is ubiquitous, and preconception and prenatal exposure to toxic environmental agents can have a profound and lasting effect on reproductive health across the life course.

The Healthy Fish Choices curriculum can help address the critical task of learning more about toxic environmental agents and educating our patients on how to avoid them. 

I hope you will take a moment to visit, considering taking the course and sharing information about this curriculum with your colleagues. 

Susan Buchanan, MD, MPH
University of Illinois at Chicago