E&ENews’s Climate Wire complains that “Despite the threat climate change poses to human health, very few medical schools have made it a part of their coursework.” Apparently they think it’s a waste of medical students’ time to learn how to treat pneumonia, compound fractures or cancer, when what they should be doing is joining the school strike or reducing their carbon footprint. Of course the folks at Climate Wire might feel differently next time one of them personally needs a doctor who knows how to remove your appendix not cool your Antarctica.
The piece cites a survey saying only 15.9% of 118 medical schools around the world have made climate change a part of their curriculum. Though since presumably they teach about heat stroke and heart attacks and athlete’s foot and whatever else climate change is meant to bring (for instance Lyme disease), students should be prepared for the aspects of the issue that are relevant to medical doctors. What were they expecting? Lessons on converting a power plant to biomass?
Even if it were true that, say “increased climate shocks could reduce gains that have been made in lowering the rates of stunting caused by poor childhood nutrition”, as the article claims, wouldn’t it make sense for doctors to focus on treating malnutrition instead of going on a climate strike or whatever a specific focus on “climate change” would entail at a medical school?