Sustainable healthcare: Spreading the word at medical school

Eleanor Denny's picture

My name is Eleanor and I am a 3rd year medical student at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. I am writing this first blog because I wanted to share some of my experiences in setting up a small group presentation to educate some of my peers about sustainable healthcare.

After signing up to a special module in holistic medicine, I found great interest in the issues surrounding sustainable healthcare. It was whilst reading the UCL-Lancet commission article (2009) that my eyes opened to the huge impact global warming has on global health. I have never considered how highly polluting the NHS is, let alone how this pollution is destroying the health of the very patients it is aiming to treat. This paradox inspired me to spread the word and do something about it! 

I decided to produce a presentation for the rest of my holistic medicine group to open up a discussion around the issue. After all, we are the ones who will be most affected in the future! I structured my presentation by outlining the global health issues surrounding climate change and then focussing in on issues within the NHS, and then the specialties (such as the green nephrology network). My final few slides discussed some of the specific things that medical students can do themselves, every day, around the hospital. I wanted to end with something that was both tangible and relevant to my peers.

If anyone is thinking about doing a similar presentation to medical students or anyone without much knowledge about sustainable healthcare, I have posted the slides that I used. There are lots of resources on the sustainable healthcare website and I am sure that Frances Mortimer will be more than happy to help you. Good luck!

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