Embedding sustainability in medical education and practice: the student Medaid London approach
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St Georges University of London, London, United Kingdom
School of Psychology, University of East London, London, United Kingdom
MedAid London, United Kingdom
Medical School, University College of London, London, United Kingdom
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1610
Background and Objectives: Current research shows there is a lack of education in sustainable healthcare teaching in the medical curriculum. A study in 2022, identified 1.8% of 850+ surveyed medical students showed no formal education on Sustainable health. To address the gap in healthcare education, Student MedAID London was created to raise awareness and provide opportunities for students to become involved in sustainable and global health work in providing access to excess medical supplies, and redistributing to locations in need. Methods: For advocacy and education work, a teaching series was designed through Instagram and Twitter, such as Learn-with-Med-Aid, alongside seminars delivered by professionals. The latter focused on diving into sustainable and public health topics not addressed in medical school. Examples include “exploring health inequalities amongst migrants and south-asian youth” and “how women rights are integral to sustainable healthcare”. For sustainable medical equipment redistribution work, a team of volunteers contacted local healthcare providers for excess equipment. The WHO sustainability criteria were used to screen receiving organisations to reduce incidence of inappropriate medical donations. Furthermore, utilising the “Flipped Model Operation” prevented stockpiling of resources. Results: Social Media and seminar engagement increased by 62% and 176% respectively from last year, with now over 1000+ followers across all social media. Our demographic has also expanded from London medical students, to young healthcare professionals from across the UK, Ukraine and USA. The organisation has received a wide number of medical donations, and is currently liaising with an Emergency Obstetric and Newborn facility in Sierra Leone as a potential receiving organisation. Positive reception has been obtained from prospective donors. Conclusions: The positive response from our educational events, advocacy work and resources demonstrate an evident gap in awareness and learning. This opens discussions on the importance of sustainability in curriculums and opportunities provided for tomorrow’s doctors.
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