Our Metrics

Our 2020 metrics were developed over the course of several months with the help of many faculty experts across the country, including physicians, educators, researchers, and advocates. We chose to focus on four main areas: planetary health curriculum, interdisciplinary research in health and the environment, university support for student planetary health initiatives, and community outreach centered on environmental health impacts. While they are not comprehensive, these metrics are intended to establish what students and faculty felt were minimum criteria for adequately addressing the importance of planetary health in medical education.

Note: The metrics listed below are from the pilot 2019-2020 report card. We are currently working to refine our metrics with the help of expert input and will be updating the website shortly.

Planetary Health Curriculum Metrics

MetricDescriptor
1.1 Did your medical school offer elective courses to engage students in planetary health in the last year?
1 point: Yes, the medical school has offered such elective courses in the last year.

0 points: No, the medical school has not offered such elective courses in the last year.

1.2 Does your medical school curriculum address the impact of climate change on the changing patterns of infectious diseases?
2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.

1.3 Does your medical school curriculum address the environmental co-benefits of a plant-based diet in its nutrition lectures?
2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.



1.4 Does your medical school curriculum address the potential mental health effects of environmental degradation and climate change?

2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.


1.5 Does your medical school curriculum address the effects of industry-related environmental exposures (e.g. air pollution, pesticides) on pregnancy?

2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.


1.6 Does your medical school curriculum address endocrine disrupting chemicals and their effects?


2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.



1.7 Does your medical school curriculum address the relationships between individual patient food security, ecosystem health, and climate change?

2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.


1.8 Does your medical school curriculum address the effect of air pollution on respiratory and cardiovascular health?

2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.


1.9 Does your medical school curriculum address the relationship between heat-related illnesses and climate change?

2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.


1.10 Does your medical school curriculum address the outsized impact of anthropogenic environmental toxins and climate change on vulnerable populations such as those with low SES, women, minorities, indigenous communities, children, and the elderly?

2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.


1.11 Does your medical school curriculum identify ways to advocate for and implement sustainable best practices in health care? (for example, avoiding unnecessary OR waste)

2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.


1.12 Does your medical school curriculum address important environmental threats that are relevant to the university’s surrounding community? (for example, fires in California)

2 points: The metric is met by the core curriculum.

1 point: The metric is met by elective coursework.

0 points: The metric is not met.
1.13 Does your institution have graduate or non-medical undergraduate level courses on planetary health open to medical student enrollment free of charge?
2 points: There are graduate or undergraduate level courses open to medical student enrollment.

1 point: There are graduate or undergraduate level courses but they are not open to free medical student enrollment.

0 points: There are no graduate level courses related to planetary health.



1.14 In training for patient encounters, does your medical school’s curriculum introduce strategies to have conversations with patients about the health effects of climate change?

1 point: Yes, there are strategies introduced for having conversations with patients about climate change.

0 points: No, there are not strategies introduced for having conversations with patients about climate change.


1.15 In training for patient encounters, does your institution’s curriculum introduce strategies for taking an environmental history or exposure history? 

1 point: Yes, the curriculum includes strategies for taking an environmental history.

0 points: No, the curriculum does not include strategies for taking an environmental history.


1.16 Does your medical school have an ongoing program that offers incentives for faculty/departments to develop new planetary health courses and/or incorporate planetary health into existing courses?


1 point: Yes the medical school has an incentive program.

0 points: No, the medical school does not have an incentive program.

Interdisciplinary Research in Health and the Environment

MetricDescriptor


2.1 Does your institution have a planetary health website, or a website centralizing various campus resources related to health and the environment?

1 point: There is a website that centralizes various campus resources related to health and the environment.

0 points: There is no website.
2.2 Has your institution hosted a conference on planetary health in the past 3 years?
1 point: Yes, the institution has hosted a conference on planetary health in the past three years.

0 points: No, the institution has not hosted an interdisciplinary health conference in the past three years.

2.3 Are there researchers engaged in planetary health research at your institution?
3 points: Yes, there is a department, institute, or center devoted to planetary health.

2 points: Yes, there are individual faculty members who are doing research on topics immersed in planetary health.

1 point: Yes, there are individual faculty members who are doing research that is related to planetary health.

0 points: No, there is no research on planetary health at this time.

2.4 Is there a dedicated department or institute for multidisciplinary environmental and planetary health research?
1 point: There is a dedicated department or institute.

0 points: There is no dedicated department or institute.

2.5 Is there active recruitment of researchers who focus on planetary health issues?
1 point: There is active recruitment.

0 points: No recruitment efforts are made.

2.6 Is there quantitatively and qualitatively meaningful research that has been authored or co-authored by researchers from your institution on planetary health issues?
2 points: Yes, researchers from my institution have produced a substantial body of impactful research related to planetary health.

1 point: There has been some research related to planetary health generated by researchers from my institution, but it is lacking in quantity and/or quality. 

0 points: There are no studies authored or co-authored by university researchers on these issues.

2.7 Has your institution joined the Planetary Health Alliance and/or the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education?
1 point: Yes, the institution has joined the Planetary Health Alliance and/or the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education.

0 points: No, the institution has not joined the Planetary Health Alliance or the Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education.

Community Outreach and Advocacy in Environment and Health

MetricDescriptor
3.1 How often does your institution offer community-facing courses or events regarding planetary health and the environment?
2 points: The institution offers such community-facing courses or events at least once every year.

1 point: The institution offers such community-facing courses or events less than once per year. 

0 points: The institution does not offer such community-facing courses.

3.2 Does your institution interface with community organizations to promote planetary and environmental health?
1 point: Yes, the institution formally interfaces with one or more community organizations to promote planetary and environmental health.

0 points: No, there is no such community partnership.

3.3 Does your institution have regular coverage of issues related to planetary health in its primary campus magazine?
2 points: Yes, there is an article related to planetary health in the majority of issues.

1 point: In the past year, there has been at least one article related to planetary health.

0 points: There has been no mention of planetary health in the last year in the campus magazine

3.4 Does the institution offer continuing medical education courses that address planetary health?
2 points: Yes, one or more in-person CME courses are offered.

1 point: Yes, one or more online CME courses are offered.

0 points: There are no courses.



3.5 Does your institution provide opportunities for medical student engagement in developing community resilience to anthropogenic environmental impacts?


1 point: Yes, the institution has provided opportunities.

0 points: No, the institution has not provided opportunities.

3.6 Does institutional marketing (posters, billboards, etc) address climate change or the relationship between health and the environment?
1 point: Yes, institutional marketing addresses the intersections between climate and health. 

0 points: No, institutional marketing does not address these intersections.

3.7 Does your medical center have accessible educational materials for patients about environmental health exposures?
1 point: Yes, the medical center has accessible educational materials.

0 points: No, the medical center does not have accessible educational materials. 

3.8 Does your institution’s endowment portfolio investments include fossil-fuel companies?
3 points: No, the institution is entirely divested from fossil fuels.

2 points: The institution has partially divested from fossil-fuel companies.

1 point: The institution has not divested from fossil-fuel companies, but faculty and/or students are conducting organized advocacy for divestment. 

0 points: Yes, the institution has investments with fossil-fuel companies and there have been no efforts to change that. 

University Support for Student-Led Planetary Health Initiatives

MetricDescriptor
4.1 Does your medical school offer a year-long fellowship for medical students to enact an initiative related to planetary health?
1 point: The medical school offers an explicit year-long fellowship for medical students to enact an initiative related to planetary health.

0 points: There is no explicit practicum or year-long planetary health fellowship open to medical students.

4.2 Does your medical school have a website where medical students can learn about applying for funding for planetary health initiatives?
1 point: Yes, there is a website where medical students can learn about applying for funding for initiatives related to planetary health.

0 points: No, there is no such website. 

4.3 Does your institution have a website where medical students can find the contact information of mentors for planetary health initiatives?
2 points: The institution has a webpage that lists faculty involved in planetary health.

1 point: The institution has a general website or directory that lists faculty and staff members’ research and/or academic interests, but is not planetary health specific.

0 points: There is no simple means of locating potential mentors for planetary health initiatives.

4.4 Does your medical school have funded, registered student groups dedicated towards fostering a culture of planetary health engagement and scholarship on campus, supported by faculty advisors?
2 points: Yes, there is a funded student organization with faculty support at my medical school dedicated to planetary health or sustainability in healthcare. 

1 point: Yes, there is a student organization at my medical school dedicated to planetary health or sustainability in healthcare but it lacks faculty support and/or funding. 

0 points: No, there is not a funded student organization at my institution dedicated to planetary health or sustainability in healthcare. 

4.5 In the past year, has the institution had one or more co-curricular planetary health programs or initiatives in the following categories? (1 point each)
a) Projects where students are able to gain experience in organic agriculture and sustainable food systems, such as gardens, farms, community supported agriculture (CSA), fishery programs, or urban agriculture projects.

b) Conferences, speaker series, symposia or similar events related to planetary health that have students as the intended audience.

c) Cultural arts events, installations or performances related to planetary health that have students as the intended audience.

d) Wilderness or outdoors programs (e.g., that organize hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or other outings for students) that follow Leave No Trace principles. 

 

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