Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Editor’s Choice

Clinicians in the 21st century—caring for the people and the planet

BMJ 2022; 378 doi: (Published 12 September 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;378:o1954
  1. Pat Lok, editorial scholar, The BMJ
  1. plok{at}

After a summer of record hot temperatures, it’s difficult not to feel anxious about the changing climate and what it means for people and the planet.1 As a medical student, I worry about how my actions affect the climate crisis.2 As an industry, healthcare is responsible for almost 5% of greenhouse gas emissions, with inhaled anaesthetic and analgesic gases being a major source.3

The clock is ticking4systemic change is imperative to achieve planetary health.5 What part can medical students play in making change? As future healthcare practitioners, we need to make our voice heardwhether that’s through joining advocacy groups or even in the form of civil disobedience.6

The urgency of the situation emphasises the importance of introducing planetary health into the medical curriculum to reflect the clinical problems we will see in practice. …

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