Teaching sustainable healthcare to tomorrow’s doctors: a mixed method analysis of medical school innovations in England
Dissertation by Caroline Tomes, reading for MPhil in Public Health, University of Cambridge 2010-11. (Thesis supervised by Stefi Barna, University of East Anglia)
Objective: Climate change has been acknowledged as the public health challenge of the 21st century. Sustainable healthcare teaching within medical schools contributes to climate change mitigation; yet less than 50% of English medical schools currently provide this. This thesis aims to report on the extent that sustainable healthcare teaching initiatives have been successfully integrated into English medical schools, and furthermore to identify and explore change agents which have been important in enabling sustainable healthcare teaching.
Design: A mixed-method research methodology was used to gain breadth and depth of the processes by which sustainable healthcare has been integrated into English medical schools. The research methods of this thesis were three-fold; a literature review of undergraduate medical teaching related to sustainable healthcare and climate change; analysis of the ‘Teaching Sustainable Healthcare in UK Medical Schools Survey’ conducted in 2010; followed by Interviews with champions of the Sustainable Healthcare Education (SHE) agenda exploring change agents which have enabled sustainable healthcare teaching to occur in medical schools.