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The SELF-course

Students Experienced in Lifestyle and Food (SELF) is an extra-curricular educational program that was developed in the 2016/2017 academic year at the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam and has been rolled out at all medical faculties in the Netherlands. With this scientifically based extra-curricular course, we offer enthusiastic medical students the opportunity to gain knowledge about lifestyle medicine, which is missing from the regular curriculum. This provides them to use this during medical consultation! During a total of 10 evening master classes are given by different professors, doctors, dieticians, lifestyle coaches, sports scientists, etc. on the effect of lifestyle on health and various types of diseases. The students are challenged to participate interactively in the lectures, so that the acquired knowledge can be applied in practice. We use our SELF course as a quick and efficient means to update students about lifestyle medicine, but it remains a means to achieve our goal: actual curriculum change so that all students get enough knowledge about these subjects.

S&L offers a platform for interested young doctors to invest in their own health and that of their future patients. It also brings students, doctors and scientists together , so that they can work with paramedics on major nutritional issues in healthcare. Own initiatives and ideas of the students are welcomed and we cooperate to realize them.

S&L considers it important that the new generation of doctors is equipped with the right knowlegde , to be able to value research into nutrition and lifestyle interventions and to translate relevant outcomes into practice in a clear way, and to discuss them with the patient.It also focuses on the importance of multidisciplinary work and timely referral to other healthcare professionals.

S&L draws attention to the importance of nutrition and lifestyle interventions to improve the quality of life,be it curative or preventive. S&L also draws attention to stress reduction among future doctors and works with companies that develop effective tools to make healthcare more productive.

S&L believes in 'prescription nutrition' and therefore brings food horticulture and the medical world closer together. A first step towards connection was taken by officially establish S&L in the World Horti Center (WHC) in Naaldwijk.


  • The student can describe and apply the basic principles of nutrition .
  • The student is able to assess scientific research, and the resulting guidelines, about nutrition and lifestyle and to translate this into practice.
  • The student can describe the value of lifestyle interventions and name the current state of affairs regarding preventive or curative lifestyle interventions for various diseases.
  • The student has insight into his/her own abilities and learns to make timely referrals to concerned paramedics in the absence of knowledge.
  • The student learns the determinants to be influenced in obesity and the importance of a long-term follow-up in patients who have undergone bariatric surgery.
  • The student learns about nutritional and lifestyle factors that can influence the development of the child in the periconceptional phase and is able to provide (future) parents with advice.
  • The student is aware of the total approach that is necessary to allow all children to eat and live healthier.
  • The student becomes aware of the importance of stress reduction, sleep and productivity management and its application within their own functioning as well as recovery processes of patients.
  • The student experiences what lifestyle interventions do to their body and is able to translate the acquired knowledge into practice.
  • The student is able to implement a number of lifestyle interventions with the aid of knowledge about conversation and the psychology of behavioral change.
  • The student takes note of the influence of the food industry on the freedom of choice of the consumer/patient.
  • The student learns about technological developments in the field of nutrition and lifestyle and the greatest challenges that await society in the future.

Klik op de pagina’s van de lokale besturen om te zien wanneer de SELF-cursus start bij jouw faculteit. Hier is ook een overicht van de sprekers te vinden.  Sinds 2022 bieden we ook een hybride SELF aan in Amsterdam die naast studenten ook voor artsen toegankelijk is. Alle informatie daarover vind je op deze site:

Voor de algemene voorwaarden van de SELF, klik hier