To all UK medical students: climate change and health inequity
The General Medical Council’s document Tomorrows Doctors emphasises that “health and safety of the public must be an important part of the curriculum.” Nonetheless, medical studies have traditionally focused on teaching “basic science” and its application to clinical diagnosis and treatment. Building knowledge in this way is important in the creation of capable and skilled practitioners. But some medical students take a broader interest in health matters, looking beyond the clinic, ward, and operating theatre to their communities and the wider world. Never has this been more important, particularly in relation to the fight against climate change and health inequity.
“Climate change is the most serious threat to human health and wellbeing in the 21st century.” So stated a recent Lancet-University College London commission.1 This statement is no exaggeration. There is overwhelming evidence of the clear and present danger from heat waves, flooding, extreme weather events, drought, altered disease vectors,