62 Medical Schools join the Planetary Health Report Card this year!
The Planetary Health Report Card (PHRC) is a student-driven, metric-based initiative to inspire planetary health and education for sustainable healthcare (ESH) in medical schools. There are metrics in five categories - curriculum, research, community outreach, student support and sustainability.
The goals of PHRC are to:
- Operate as a “needs assessment” tool to identify institutions’ planetary health and strengths and opportunities for growth
- Assemble synthesised institution-specific information on planetary health resources useful for faculty and students
- Facilitate cross-institutional dialogue and sharing of planetary health resources.
- Track progress in implementing planetary health curriculum and resources.
- Advance the global planetary health movement in pursuit of a healthier and more equitable world.
This year 62 medical schools took part including 31 from the UK and 5 from Ireland. Keele University impressively achieved the highest grade within the UK and overall there was a wide spread of results in all sections with Campus Sustainability on average being the strongest category and Community Outreach & Advocacy being the weakest. Despite the 2018 GMC Outcomes for Graduates stating sustainable healthcare as a requirement, Planetary Health and ESH in UK medical schools was much more likely to be offered in student selected components than in the core curriculum. Schools that had integrated the teaching into their core curriculum scored higher marks, for example a new module for all students at Exeter.
Hannah Chase, Medical Student, PHRC co-director and UK lead reports:
“It has been an honour to lead this initiative alongside PHRC founder Karly Hampshire from University of California San Francisco. Recruiting all but three UK medical schools to participate in the PHRC in its first international year after the pilot in the US last year has been beyond my wildest expectations. What has been most inspiring is hearing about the conversations and changes across UK medical schools as a result of students approaching faculty about the initiative. For example there have been university- wide presentations, new PHRC faculty-student committees, and many conversations with deans and faculty members to facilitate change to curricula and more widely. We also hope the publication of the report cards will catalyse inter-university conversations and give concrete examples of what is happening at the medical schools leading the way in this field.
At Oxford where I’ve been part of the team, the PHRC has been part of wider momentum for increasing Education for Sustainable Healthcare over the last 9 months within the curriculum. We presented the report card to faculty as part of a broader workshop and we are feeling really positive moving forwards given there has been such significant faculty support!”
The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare Sustainability in Quality Improvement website was listed as one of the top four recommended resources on the Report Card’s recommendations page.
Stefi Barna, education director at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare said,
“We’ve been working since 2010 with educators and students to design and pilot ways to incorporate the environmental determinants of health into medical training, and support clinical innovation for climate and social justice”.
To help medical schools improve their scores, CSH also offer the following resources:
- Teaching Sustainable Quality Improvement, a short course to help educators integrate sustainability principles into quality improvement education project (supported by Health Education England, Kings College London and the Health Foundation)
- Priority Learning Outcomes for Medicine, published in The Lancet and on the CSH Education for Sustainable Healthcare Network a peer network of over 1000 faculty and students experimenting with ways to integrate sustainability principles into the curriculum of medical, nursing and allied health professional schools. The national steering committee is chaired by UCL Professor Anthony Costello.
- Education for Sustainable Healthcare: from Theory into Practice, a SEDA-funded research project that supported eight "beacon" medical schools to develop new teaching on sustainability within their undergraduate courses.
- Elective placements in sustainable healthcare throughout the year.
To get involved at your medical school, contact the PHRC team (see the first page of your School’s individual report card). If you have questions you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the PHRC on twitter @phreportcard.
The Planetary Health Report Card will be recruiting teams for next year towards the end of the summer and students are welcome to join. It would be fantastic to get 100% of UK medical schools publishing next year, and to expand further internationally! Please see https://phreportcard.org for full results including a section highlighting best examples from different universities in each area and individual report cards from each school.