A model for comprehensive climate and medical education
Climate change is a public health emergency. Clinicians worldwide now face the reality of caring for patients during wildfires, heat waves, floods, and shifting infectious disease patterns. Health-care workers need better preparation to care for communities facing the health effects of climate change.2 Medical students have been key advocates in these efforts, driving research, community partnerships, and education.
When we began medical school during record-setting Californian wildfires and a global pandemic, our curriculum did not address the effect of climate change on human health, nor the disproportionate effects on communities made vulnerable by racism and poverty. Here, we detail how we integrated the effects of climate change on health into more than a dozen courses at our institution, starting with the preclinical curriculum and then progressing through all levels of training.
In this Comment, we use the example of reproductive health and obstetrics and gynaecology education to describe this longitudinal approach.