Climate change exacerbates the risk of many health conditions including heatstroke, asthma, lung disease, and more, but despite this, most medical school curriculums do not discuss climate change when studying potential disease risk factors.
In an effort to address this issue and support patients disproportionately affected by climate change, medical students from the Emory University School of Medicine successfully petitioned for the inclusion of climate risk assessment in the medical school curriculum.
Medical student Emaline Laney and her peers spent time studying the connection between climate change and health and have identified areas in the curriculum where this knowledge could be incorporated. They then drafted a proposal to include this information in the standard course of study for first-year medical students.
The faculty is now working with the students to implement the new study material. This new material includes looking at the increasing risk of dehydration and heatstroke for older adults as well as how warming affects the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.