Educating for planetary health and environmentally sustainable health care: Responding with urgency

Michelle McLean, Trevor Gibbs, Judy McKimm

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialResearch

16 Citations (Scopus)


There is little doubt that 2019 was a defining year on many fronts for the environment. The repercussions of the climate emergency were experienced across the globe, with floods, devastating wildfires, and unprecedented melting of polar ice sheets and glaciers. While the new decade began with the Australian bushfires still raging after the hottest and driest year on record, the world was soon (and still is) in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research indicates that this virus has mutated from its animal intermediate host and has been able to infect humans, ostensibly from exposure during capture, breeding, and trading of wild animals. As we write this editorial (early July), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections have surpassed 11 million, with more than half a million deaths. Although some countries are starting to emerge from months of lockdown in a bid to stimulate faltering economies, the infection rates continue to rise in many parts of the global South and the US. Health systems across the world have been and are still being challenged, raising concerns about the health consequences of weakening public health containment strategies whilst universities and training institutions are struggling to train and graduate the health professionals of the future due to extraordinary pressures in the clinical workplace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1084
Number of pages3
JournalMedical Teacher
Issue number10
Early online date28 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2020


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