PROGRAMME DESCRIPTION: Characterisation of an elective course on climate change for health professional students


  • Ereca Nguyen University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • Hugo Aguilar University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • Yaser Khoshal University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • Conan MacDougall University of California, San Francisco, USA
  • Katherine Gruenberg University of California, San Francisco, USA



climate change, curriculum, environmental health, education, pharmacy


Context: A 10-week elective course, designed by students and supported by faculty, was developed to raise awareness about climate change and health among graduate health professional students. This article aims to characterise the course design, implementation, and student feedback gathered over three years.   

Description of Course: Course topics aligned with United Nations General Assembly Sustainable Development Goals and were sequenced to first introduce students to basic climate change concepts, followed by examples of human activities with environmental and health consequences. Speakers held diverse roles in health care, research, public health organisations, and advocacy groups. Students evaluated both individual speakers and the course.     

Evaluation: 152 health professional students enrolled in the course over 3 years. The course was well-received with favourable speaker ratings and course evaluations across all years. Students commented on the importance and relevance of the course topics taught by a diverse group of speakers. Students also requested examples of ways to address climate health issues.      

Future plans: A 10-week elective course on climate change and health, designed by students and supported by faculty, resulted in favourable evaluations among health professions students. The authors plan to conduct an assessment of student knowledge gained from the course and delayed assessments of students’ attitudes and behaviours to evaluate changes over time and achievement of course goals.

Author Biographies

Ereca Nguyen, University of California, San Francisco, USA

School of Pharmacy

Hugo Aguilar, University of California, San Francisco, USA

School of Pharmacy

Yaser Khoshal, University of California, San Francisco, USA

School of Pharmacy

Conan MacDougall, University of California, San Francisco, USA

School of Pharmacy

Katherine Gruenberg, University of California, San Francisco, USA

Assistant Professor - School of Pharmacy


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Programme Description