Template letter to your Medical School Dean requesting them to sign your medical school on to the Climate and Health Council’s declaration and increase the coverage of the subject in the medical school curriculum
Dear <insert name of Dean>,
We are writing as medical students concerned that climate change presents a growing threat to UK and global health, to urge the ... Medical School to join many others in responding to it by signing the Climate and Health Council's Pledge, joining the Council as an institutional member, and working to increase the coverage of related subjects across the medical curriculum.
Climate change will undoubtedly have a profound impact on global health, as many high profile medical journal articles in recent years have made clear. It will increase the intensity and frequency of extreme weather events; floods and natural disasters; droughts, desertification and famine; and consequently have a severely adverse impact on worldwide malnutrition. Rising sea levels alone will create hundreds of millions of environmental migrants, as well as destroying arable land. Drivers of conflict are very likely to increase, including resource scarcity and mass migration.
Health in the UK will also be negatively affected. As a developed country we are able to adapt to reduce the negative health impacts, but only up to an extent. Importantly for public health in the UK, the health co-benefits that we would gain from lower carbon living (such as walking more, or eating less red meat) would greatly improve public health. Such co-benefit arguments lend an added urgency for the health profession to get on this agenda.
Medical schools have a key role to play in the campaign against climate change. As the training ground for the future of doctors in the UK, medical schools have a profound influence on how and what doctors think, and what they are taught at medical school - including the attitudes and values - will stay with medical students for the whole of their career. Given the potentially immense impacts climate change is likely to have on health in the future, and the high trust the public places in doctors, it is essential that medical students are well informed about the health consequences and the cost co-benefits of carbon reduction strategies for high-carbon organisations such as hospitals.
For a medical school to portray climate change as a public health issue and sign the Council's pledge publicly will send out a strong signal to students, staff and the wider public. Medical schools are an integral part of the health profession, and mobilisation of the medical profession is crucial if climate change is to be seen through a health perspective. We strongly urge you to acknowledge the important part that medical schools have in this growing national and global problem by:
1. Signing the ...... Medical School up the Climate and Health Council's Pledge,
2. Joining the council as the ... Medical School with an institutional membership for £50,
3. Encouraging staff and students to do the same (free).
4. Determining the current level of inclusion of content related to climate change and sustainability across the medical school curriculum, and working to include more.
You can sign up and join by visiting http://www.climateandhealth.org/ and either choosing 'Sign the Pledge' in the
middle of the screen, or 'Join' at the right. We would love to come in to talk to you one day next week to go over this
in more detail, explain what it is all about and see how we can take this forward.
We look forward to hearing from you.