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Priority learning outcomes for sustainable medical education

Trevor Thompson

Trevor Thompson

15 November 2012

A consultation seminar will be held on sustainable medical education to help research carbon reduction and help transform the health system to be more resilient and health-promoting.

Trevor Thompson

Trevor Thompson

Trevor Thompson
  (Social and Community Medicine), co-applicants Stefi Barna ( Norwich Medical School, UEA), Frances Mortimer (Centre for Sustainable Healthcare), Jason Horsley (Public Health, Sheffield), Steve Gillam (Public Health, Cambridge) were all successful in gaining funding from the Cabot Institute in its annual Open Call 2012/2013 to fund a consultation seminar on sustainable medical education.

The health service is facing a new and pressing challenge. With climate change already damaging the health of disadvantaged groups in the UK  and abroad  , the NHS is called upon to lead the way in carbon reduction and transformation to a resilient, health-promoting health system.  Medical education and training are central to shaping a sustainable future for health, and HEFCE , the HEA , Royal Colleges  and the NHS  have called on universities to ensure that medical graduates are sustainability-literate.

The Sustainable Healthcare Education (SHE) Network has brought together a national group of experts, which has drafted priority learning outcomes for undergraduate and postgraduate training in sustainability in healthcare. These learning outcomes integrate research findings from a range of research disciplines including: climate science, clinical epidemiology and social science thinking on the management of change. At the suggestion of the General Medical Council, the Network now proposes a comprehensive and rigorous consultation process to engage the wider medical education community in the refinement and application of these outcomes. 

This consultation process has multiple elements including on-line surveys and interviews with key opinion-leaders. Central to the process is a consultation seminar. This is being designed to:

  • engage key stakeholders with the draft learning outcomes,
  • gain feedback to augment, revise and streamline the learning outcomes
  • help us understand key opportunities and barriers to the implementation.