Child-focused climate change and health content in medical schools and pediatric residencies

Anna Goshua, Jason Gomez, Barbara Erny, Michael Gisondi, Lisa Patel, Vanitha Sampath, Perry Sheffield, Kari C. Nadeau

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Abstract: Anthropogenic climate change—driven primarily by the combustion of fossil fuels that form greenhouse gases—has numerous consequences that impact health, including extreme weather events of accelerating frequency and intensity (e.g., wildfires, thunderstorms, droughts, and heat waves), mental health sequelae of displacement from these events, and the increase in aeroallergens and other pollutants. Children are especially vulnerable to climate-related exposures given that they are still developing, encounter higher exposures compared to adults, and are at risk of losing many healthy future years of life. In order to better meet the needs of generations of children born into a world affected by climate change, medical trainees must develop their knowledge of the relationships between climate change and children’s health—with a focus on applying that information in clinical practice. This review provides an overview of salient climate change and children’s health topics that medical school and pediatric residency training curricula should cover. In addition, it highlights the strengths and limitations of existing medical school and residency climate change and pediatric health curricula. Impact: Provides insight into the current climate change and pediatric health curricular opportunities for medical trainees in North America at both the medical school and residency levels.Condenses climate change and pediatric health material relevant to trainees to help readers optimize curricula at their institutions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


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