Climate change increases the number of hot days, contributes to the spread of new dangerous diseases and prolongs the allergy season. All this must be taken into account when preparing future doctors and will have to be taught differently.
Global warming threatens not only nature and agriculture, but also human health. More and more voices are being heard calling for the inclusion of issues related to the climate crisis in medical education. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, activists who have received support from the American Medical Association have already made some headway.
For example, at the University of Minnesota, climate issues were included in the training programs for doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. Similar changes are also discussed at the Mayo Clinic. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, future doctors are taught to predict worsening asthma attacks due to increased forest fires.
So far, only a few medical schools have changed programs to prepare for global warming.
The reason is that new topics are difficult to integrate into existing courses, and teachers do not have enough knowledge on this topic. So while the climate and its impact on health are discussed mainly on the electives.
Proponents of “climate medicine” are confident that future doctors should be better prepared for the changes that will occur as a result of global temperature increases. Even today, hot weather increases the frequency of thermal shock. In addition, weather anomalies and fires worsen the condition of patients with allergies, cardiovascular and mental illness. Warming is also changing the habitats of insects and ticks – carriers of dangerous diseases.
To accelerate changes in education, the Columbia University School of Public Health has created a coalition of 187 universities and colleges supporting the inclusion of climate issues in medical programs. The International Federation of Medical Students achieves similar goals.
According to a recent study, in just a few years, climate change has transformed Candida auris from a peaceful inhabitant of brackish waters into a threat to all of humanity. Adapting to warmer water, he began to attack the human body and developed resistance to most antifungal drugs.