Climatizing the Internal Medicine Residency Curriculum: A Practical Guide for Integrating the Topic of Climate and Health into Resident Education

Elsevier, The Journal of Climate Change and Health, 2021, 100067
Authors: 
Thomas M. Kuczmarski, Jacob Fox, Ethan Katznelson, Durga Thakral, Khin-Kyemon Aung, Emily Moore, Jonathan Eisen, Jonathan E Slutzman, Regina LaRocque, Caren G Solomon, Gregg L Furie, Paul F Dellaripa

The climate crisis is a threat to human health. Resident physicians in internal medicine need training that addresses the clinical implications of climate change and its effect on health. However, internal medicine residency curricula are already saturated with essential topics in clinical medicine, and often have limited space for additional material. In this guide, we describe how to integrate climate and health training into an internal medicine residency curriculum. Evidence-based topics in climate and health are organized by medical subspecialty and are integrated into pre-existing lectures in the longitudinal, outpatient lecture series. Addition of material to these recurring presentations limits workload by presenters, ensures longevity and adaptability of the course material, and allows exposure of these core topics to the entire residency. Below we highlight learning objectives for these lectures and review pertinent topics in climate and health by medical subspecialty, specifically: pulmonology, cardiovascular disease, nephrology, gastroenterology, infectious diseases, mental health, and women's health. We believe that by “training the trainer,” resident physicians will be better equipped to care for patients affected by climate-mediated disease and advocate for solutions to the climate crisis.