Integrating planetary health & sustainability into medical school curriculum

Vasandhara Thoroughgood's picture

I would like to support my local medical school with introducing planetary health into the curriculum and would be interested to hear of anyone elses's experience of doing this, especially in terms of incorporating it into a spiral curriculum. Many thanks

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What medical school are you

Joey Brooke's picture

What medical school are you wanting to support? Are you aware of any other people (staff, students, academics) interested in the subject at your medical school? 

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Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford

Vasandhara Thoroughgood's picture

I have had a discussion with an enthusiastic medical student and one of the clinical lecturers who are both supportive. Curriculum review is in May so ahead of that meeting we felt it would help to hear of others' experience.

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This sounds really positive,

Joey Brooke's picture

This sounds really positive, and it looks like you have the right people on board at this point, particularly if there's an opportunity to review the curriculum coming up. In my experience, you have the three elements that are important: student support, enthusiastic educators, and curriculum review. I agree with Hannah's post below, using the PHRC could provide a good template to assess your curriculum as it stands, and the report that is due to be published in April could be helpful for giving you the scope of where other medical schools are at, and successful initiatives. In Edinburgh, we have a small group of students using the PHRC to conduct an audit. At the same time, we are using the PHRC to help us redesign our pre-clinical years curriculum, which has only come about through gaining support of key educators with a role in the curriculum. Happy to chat more specifics if this is useful! 

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Many thanks for your reply

Vasandhara Thoroughgood's picture

Many thanks for your reply Joey. Could you send me a private message with your email address please and we can  arrange something? It might be my Faculty contact would be interested in joining a call too.  

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Many thanks

Vasandhara Thoroughgood's picture

Many thanks for you reply Joey. Could you private message me with your email address please and we can arrange something?

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Hi Vasandhara,

Hannah Chase's picture

Hi Vasandhara,

I am leading the UK part of an initiative called the planetary health report card. I advertised it on the ARU fb pages last year but then realised that it wouldn't yet work for ARU as their first cohort graduate in 2023 but students at most med schools are currently completing it and it might be a tool that would be helpful as a guide for curriculum change at ARU even if it can't be completed yet formally? Can have a look at https://phreportcard.org - on the metric page you can see the curriculum questions and more. More than happy to discuss it further if helpful. It has definiteley been helpful at other medical schools as a structured way to start the conversation and facilitate change.

Hannah

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Lots of experience of doing this at Lancaster Medical School!

Felicity Connolly's picture

Hi Vasandhara. Very happy to share our experience doing this at Lancaster Med School. We're in the second year running of new ESH content. Still a work in progress and lots more to do, but have much that would be useful to share. Just got your private message and will email separately. Have you seen SanYuMay Tun's papers? SanYuMay Tun (May Sanyu Tun), Caroline Wellbery & Arianne Teherani (2020) Faculty development and partnership with students to integrate sustainable healthcare into health professions education, Medical Teacher,42:10, 1112-1118, DOI: 10.1080/0142159X.2020.1796950

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Dundee Medical School experience

Tim Smith's picture

Hi Vasandhara,

We're also attempting to embed planetary health and sustainable healthcare teaching into the undergraduate medical curriculum at the University of Dundee. Prior to this year we mostly covered these topics via SSC's, however we're now running a number of workshops at different points in the curriculum, and are going to be experimenting with various approaches to work out how best to integrate these topics. We also have a student currently working on our Planetary Health report card which is a very helpful reference as Hannah mentioned above. I'd be happy to chat and share our experiences so far. Just let me know.

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