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Opinion: Medical schools must prepare students to work in a world altered by climate change

Medical students can't afford the luxury of choosing to be interested in #climatechange. It should be an essential part of any 21st-century #medicalschool curriculum.
Low water levels are seen visible on the banks of Entrepenas reservoir in Duron, Spain, in 2017, when it was at its lowest level since 1994. Source: David Ramos/Getty Images

As a medical student fumbling with the fundamentals of interviewing patients and taking medical histories, the realities of being a doctor seem like a far-off dream. My colleagues and I work hard to prepare ourselves to be equipped to address the increasingly complex health care issues that will affect the lives of our future patients, from inequities in access to quality care to multidrug resistance.

The most pressing of these issues is climate change, a growing environmental emergency that will have . Food shortages induced by climate change are alone expected to account globally by 2050. Regardless of their personal interest in climate change or their belief that advocacy about it is within the scope of medical practice, physicians will be on the front lines of confronting its effects.

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