Exploring emerging learning needs: a UK-wide consultation on environmental sustainability learning objectives for medical education
The IJME has published an article about the development of priority learning objectives for environmental sustainability in medical education, which was led by the SHE Network in 2012-13.Exploring emerging learning needs: a UK-wide consultation on environmental sustainability learning objectives for medical education
Sarah C. Walpole, Frances Mortimer, Alice Inman, Isobel Braithwaite and Trevor Thompson
Objectives: This study aimed to engage wide-ranging stakeholders and develop consensus learning objectives for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education.
Methods: A UK-wide consultation garnered opinions of healthcare students, healthcare educators and other key stakeholders about environmental sustainability in medical education. The policy Delphi approach informed this study. Draft learning objectives were revised iteratively during three rounds of consultation: online questionnaire or telephone interview, face-to-face seminar and email consultation.
Results: Twelve draft learning objectives were developed based on review of relevant literature. In round one, 64 participants’ median ratings of the learning objectives were 3.5 for relevance and 3.0 for feasibility on a Likert scale of one to four. Revisions were proposed, e.g. to highlight relevance to public health and professionalism. Thirty three participants attended round two. Conflicting opinions were explored. Added content areas included health benefits of sustainable behaviours. To enhance usability, restructuring provided three overarching learning objectives, each with subsidiary points. All participants from rounds one and two were contacted in round three, and no further edits were required.
Conclusions: This is the first attempt to define consensus learning objectives for medical students about environmental sustainability. Allowing a wide range of stakeholders to comment on multiple iterations of the document stimulated their engagement with the issues raised and ownership of the resulting learning objectives.