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Mapping Climate Change And Health Into The Medical Curriculum | DEA | University of Melbourne

Medical students looking at model of a human body and DEA logo

Mapping Climate Change And Health Into The Medical Curriculum Co-Development Of A “Planetary Health–Organ System Map” For Graduate Medical Education 2021 University of Melbourne


Overview [Extract]

Climate change is a health emergency posing significant threats to health and to the healthcare sector.

As a result, there is growing demand for planetary health concepts, including the health impacts of climate change and the principles of sustainable healthcare, to be embedded systematically into medical education and practice.

Student members of Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) undertook a review of their Doctor of Medicine (MD) graduate curriculum. Their objective was to align their education more closely with the existing Australian Medical Council graduate outcome statements (within resource below).

The students partnered with staff across several departments and two schools within the University of Melbourne Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences faculty to form the volunteer “Planetary Health Curriculum Taskforce”.

The Taskforce developed ‘Mapping Climate Change and Health into the Medical Curriculum’ as a resource for all Australian medical educators, students and clinicians.

The resource exemplifies how planetary health concepts and knowledge can be integrated into the organ systems framework for medical education. This framework, which compartmentalises content according to the body’s organ systems, is familiar to all Australian medical students and teachers.

Mapping Climate Change and Health into the Medical Curriculum demonstrates how planetary health is a cross cutting theme relevant to every specialty. It may be used as a guide for curriculum development, whereby planetary health can be integrated into existing organ systems-based teaching. Educators can easily find relevant planetary health learning for lectures, tutorials, case based discussions and clinical scenarios.

With the frequency and severity of extreme weather events predicted to continue to worsen, doctors, whether in training or in practice, must be equipped with the knowledge, skills, values, competence and confidence they need to sustainably assess, manage and treat patients presenting with climate change related illnesses.

This resource supports the development of well-rounded medical students and doctors equipped to practice medicine now and in the future.

Download the PDF >>

Mapping Climate Change coversheet


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