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As massive wildfires, hurricanes, and record-breaking temperatures hit parts of the U.S., a group of doctors is urging medical residency programs to implement standardized curricula on the health impacts of climate change.
Their framework, published in a paper Wednesday in Academic Medicine, includes a breakdown of high-risk populations, including the elderly and low-income families, and a review of the current understanding on how climate impacts health — such as the relationship between air quality and respiratory illness. The framework also encourages consideration of the health impacts of displacement due to extreme weather events: Those who lose their home due to a hurricane, for instance, often develop post-traumatic stress disorder or face other mental health challenges; they are also at a higher risk for developing other conditions such as food insecurity that could in turn affect their physical and mental health.
“We wanted to link the content to what residents are supposed to learn anyway,” said Rebecca Philipsborn, a pediatrician at the Emory University School of Medicine and lead author of the new paper.
Physicians have been sounding the alarm on the health effects of climate change for years, and the need to train future physicians how to treat patients …
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