Climate crisis and planetary health in italian medical schools’ curricula: a scoping review
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Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italian Institute for Planetary Health, Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A694
Background and Objective:
Italy is considered a hotspot for climate change in the Mediterranean region and people living in it are already affected by environmental modifications. Medical doctors have a key role in tackling with the consequences of this threat by providing direct care and correct education, preparing the population, helping in adaptation process, and advocating for public health policies. To achieve this aim, medical doctors need solid knowledge about the interconnection between human health and climate crisis, which is a cornerstone of Planetary Health. The aim of this study is to analyse whether Italian medicine schools’ curricula incorporate Planetary Health and climate change topics.

A review of all medicine degree courses in Italy was conducted in December 2022 on academic websites of each course founded on the “” institutional portal. In each programme, we searched for the Italian terms for “climate change”, “environmental change”, “planetary health”, “one health” and we synthesized the results in a database, which was used to set out the Italian situation with descriptive statistics.

Forty-eight medical schools and eighty-three degree courses have been included. Preliminary data show that only 4 schools out of 48 (8.3%) offer elective courses on the subject and in 13 courses out of 83 (10.8%) there is a teaching course that includes Planetary Health topics in the programme.

This review shows that Italian future medical doctors are receiving an insufficient education in their degree courses on climate crisis and environmental matters, which comprise 25% of the global burden of disease. Medical doctors need to be aware of global environmental changes and to be actively involved in population health protection and support for policymaking. Planetary Health Educational framework shows the way to reach this goal, developing knowledge and skills to face the problem.

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