The 6th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report released this year states that human influence has unequivocally warmed our planet. Rapid warming drives weather extremes around the planet, such as heatwaves, flooding events, droughts, and wildfires with increasingly disastrous effects on human health. The IPCC report acknowledges that, while certain harms are “locked in,” there is still a window for governments and societies to transition quickly to clean energy economies to protect human health.
The American Medical Association also recognizes the impact climate change has on human health, recommending both the integration of climate change into medical education and encouraging physician advocacy to address climate change in a 2019 policy statement. While there has been progress toward integration of climate change into medical curriculum and residency education, incorporating this information into the board certification process has not yet occurred. Fortunately, the tide is turning.