In medical school, students spend long hours poring over textbooks and notes to learn how to care for their future patients.
And a growing number of students insist that their education must include climate change.
Climate change affects health in many ways, from heat-related illness to the growing spread of mosquito-borne disease.
Boyd: “I think there’s a lot of power in the students coming forward, recognizing that this is something we’re interested in and that we’re not getting.”
Kent Boyd is a nursing practice doctoral student at the University of Minnesota, and he’s part of the leadership team for the Planetary Health Report Card.
It’s a global initiative in which students from medical, nursing, and pharmacy programs evaluate their institutions.
They review their school’s curriculum to assess its coverage of climate and environmental health topics. They also look at the school’s research, outreach programs, and campus sustainability. Schools then receive a grade from A to F.
At his own school, Boyd and other students are using the report card to advocate for curriculum changes.
Boyd: “Like, this is what you’ve currently scored, this is how you can make this better.”
So future health care providers understand the connections between environmental and human health and are prepared to protect both.
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media