Climate change can harm health, but most medical schools don’t teach it

Climate change poses numerous threats to human health, yet it’s generally not part of the curriculum at medical schools, according to a recent news report.

A December 27, 2019 article in Scientific American, originally published in E&E News, reported on a survey that found that only about 16% of medical schools include information about climate change in their courses. Yet there are numerous health impacts of climate change, the article noted. For example, more days of extreme heat could lead to more deaths, wildfires could harm those with respiratory conditions, and vector-borne diseases such as Zika and Lyme could spread more widely.

“Climate change is truly that threat multiplier,” said Renee Salas, an emergency room doctor and a Yerby Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE). “It impacts, in my opinion, every facet of how we practice medicine.”

Read the Scientific American article: Despite Climate Change Health Threats, Few Medical Schools Teach It