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Keele’s School of Medicine ranked best in world for sustainability in medical education – and No.1 in the UK for third year in a row

Three in a row for Keele’s School of Medicine

Keele University’s School of Medicine has been ranked as the top performing medical school globally for sustainability in medical education – and first in the UK for the third year running.

The School’s score of 87.9% in the Planetary Health Report Card was the highest across 96 medical schools from 12 countries including the United States, India and Japan in the student-led initiative, which is designed to encourage medical schools to embed climate change and planetary health into their curriculum.

Keele’s School of Medicine and other participating institutions were assessed and graded across five key indicators: planetary health curriculum, interdisciplinary research in health and the environment, community outreach and advocacy, support for student-led initiatives and campus sustainability.

Highest grade awarded since initiative began 

The School’s performance across all categories resulted in an overall grade of A, its best performance since the initiative launched in 2020. The University’s commitment to sustainability was recognised, including its renewable energy park and goal to be carbon neutral, with the highest possible A* grade. The “strong integration” of the effects of pollution and extreme weather and its impact on the pattern of infectious disease, as well as health inequalities, into the medical school’s curriculum was also praised.

Professor Christian Mallen, Dean of the School of Medicine, said:

“I’m delighted to see our continued success with the Planetary Health Report Card, particularly as this is a student-led initiative. Sustainability and planetary health run through all we do at Keele and I’m thrilled that we are leading the way in the School of Medicine.”

Including sustainability in the medical school’s curriculum 

Lauren Franklin, a fifth-year medical student who led Keele’s submission, said:

“I’m really proud of the progress that Keele has made over the last three years, since being included in the Planetary Health Report Card. I’m grateful for the support that staff have given me in undertaking this initiative each year and for their enthusiasm for integrating the changes recommended.

“Including planetary health and sustainability within the medical school curriculum is vital to prepare future clinicians to treat and manage the health implications of climate change and to work in an NHS aspiring to reach carbon net zero. I’m lucky to be studying at an institution where sustainability is prioritised and considered in everything it does.”

The Planetary Health Report Card was founded by medical students and faculty mentors at the University of California San Francisco’s School of Medicine, to track work done by institutions to improve planetary health engagement and to inspire medical schools to focus on the importance of climate change and sustainability in healthcare education.

Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, and institutional lead for sustainability at Keele University, said:

“I’m delighted by this latest even more impressive achievement by our School of Medicine in these important rankings of universities and medical schools for their commitment to embed sustainability, climate change and planetary health into their curriculum and across overall institutional activity.

“It reflects incredibly well on our Medical School, as well as our commitment as an institution to show leadership around embedding sustainability in our curricula and in all aspects of our operations.”

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