Planetary Health chapters, now in general medicine textbooks

In Italy and Brazil landmark chapters on Planetary Health were recently published. Respective authors Dr Alice Serafini and Dr Enrique Enrique Falceto de Barros comment on their chapters:

Alice notes that the publication of this textbook has been quite a revolution in Italy, both because the last textbook of Family Medicine had been published more that twenty years before and because the two editors, young and female family doctors, chose to include new chapters and themes that well describes the values and ideas of the new generation of italian family physicians. The cover image of the textbook, a physician riding a bike with the doctor bag in the back and a digital map on the background, well describes these values and could be seen as the first Planetary Health endorsement of the textbook. Alice wrote the chapter denominated “Health and/is the environment”, in which, following the invitation of Professor Per Fugelli “The patient Earth is sick. Global environmental disruptions can have serious consequences for human health. It's time for doctors to give a world diagnosis and advise on treatment” the health impact of different types of pollution (air pollution, indoor pollution) and climate change is described with concise and simple words, to be discussed with patients. In addition, the last part of the chapter is dedicated to the impact of the healthcare sector on the environment, and simple strategies to achieve a greener family medicine practice, that range from using a bicycle to perform house calls to avoid overprescribing, are presented.
Enrique understands that new Planetary Health chapter in a Brazilian reference primary care textbook consolidates this agenda.(1) The shift from the Holocene to the new Anthropocene epoch (human great accelerating geological impact on the planet) with its consequences to all life on the planet has been recognized as a significant subject to Brazilian family doctors which are increasingly understanding that their practice is already person-centered planetary health care. (2) In fact, Planetary health and Climate Change underscore the urgent need to prioritize primary care based Universal Health Coverage. (3) Research is needed to better understand how it could be effectively used in the clinic context to improve patients and community health and attitudes towards environmental health. A promising method that I have implemented in my clinic is a “one minute for the planet”, (4) whenever appropriate. Yesterday a) I explained to a mother and her daughter that smoke from our forest fires (agriculture techniques) and wood stoves exacerbates their asmath, b) showed that our citizen science air health APP monitor (5) (recently implemented in my clinic) could help them avoid pollution exposure, and c) quickly linked it to climate change and deforestation. These are pathways that  other family docs could adapt and pave as well.”

Associate Professor Dr Ozden, chair of the Wonca Working Party on the Environment, says that “Environmental medicine, according to traditional texts, is a clinical specialty. It is still in its early stages of development as a branch of internal medication, in the form of synthesis, a detailed environment of branches such as paediatrics, geriatrics, science of physiology, biochemistry, and epidemiology will develop.(6) As the holistic approach is one of the features of family medicine discipline, planetary health is also one of the responsibilities of Family Physicians(FPs)/General Practitioners (GPs). (7,8) Ozden wrote the chapter denominated “In the Family Medicine Practice, Sustainable Practices for Planetary Health”, in which, following the invitation of Professor Dr Serap Çiftçili (Marmara University-Department of Family Medicine) of special edition of “Management of the Practice in Family Medicine”. Last year, the chapter titled "Covid-19 Planetary Health and Family Medicine" was published.

In conclusion, projects, researches could be designed with a primarycare-centered teaching technique (problem solving, learning by making innovations, etc.) to find out more useful methods in environmental education that we believe will be valuable. Furthermore, employing these strategies may raise FPs/GPs' environmental awareness and attitude. This organised paradigm requires evidence-based references and textbooks written by colleagues who have integrated planetary health into their daily practises among national and international levels. ”

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Cubaka VK, Dyck C, Dawe R, Alghalyini B, Whalen-Browne M, Cejas G, et al. A global picture of family medicine: The view from a WONCA Storybooth. BMC Fam Pract. 2019;20(1):1–9.
Lauriola P, Serafini A, Santamaria M, Guicciardi S, Kurotschka PK, Leonardi GS, et al. Family doctors to connect global concerns due to climate change with local actions: State‐of‐the art and some proposals. World Med Heal Policy. 2021;13(2):199–223.