The Vasco de Gama planetary health special interest group: establishing future sustainable family medicine practice

Oisin Brady Bates

Keywords: planetary health, sustainability, curriculum, family medicine training

Introduction:

Climate change and environmental degradation constitute dire threats to human health both in a domestic and international context. Planetary health encourages “evidence-based policies to promote human health and prosperity while preserving the environment which allows us to thrive”.
Family medicine is in a unique position to prevent and manage illness in a community setting. As such, family medicine specialist training and curriculum should equip trainees to understand, prevent and manage health effects related to planetary health.

The Vasco de Gama movement (VdG) is the network for young and future family doctors of the european regional branch of the world organization of family doctors (WONCA Europe).

Method:
- Provide an overview of the necessity of the inclusion of planetary health topics into family medicine training
- Outline the power of international collaboration for an international issue: outlining the emergence of a planetary health special interest group within the vasgo de gama network

Results:
Junior family medicine doctors and family medicine trainees from across Europe collaborated on troubleshooting salient planetary health issues within general practice at a workshop at the VdG conference Edinburgh 2022, the results are outlined.

Conclusions:

- Raise awareness in relation to planetary health and its relevance to family medicine
- Advocate for the formal integration of planetary health topics into family medicine training
- Establish international collaboration and reproducible standards that can be adopted to raise awareness

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