Key Stakeholder Perspectives on Valued Outcomes from GME Sponsored Climate Education Initiatives

Presentation Notes

Poster presented at: AAMC Learn, Serve, Lead; November 8-12, 2024; Atlanta, GA.


Purpose: What problems or issues have you identified and addressed?

Climate change is impacting our patients’ health through increased heatwaves, wildfires, vector-borne illnesses and worsening air quality. Known as a threat multiplier, climate change’s impacts amplify existing health disparities in vulnerable communities. [1] While most clinicians are “concerned” about climate change, only a few have knowledge and skills about climate changes specific impacts on health and how to discuss the implications with their patients. [2,3] While a literature and google search revealed numerous curricula and resources on climate advocacy particularly in medical student education there was limited work in graduate medical education with a clinical lens on the management of climate impacts on patient health. A more detailed review of these sources, with an eye towards evaluation, revealed that evaluation focused primarily on learner satisfaction with the educational sessions/resources. Our purpose was to determine what education and health care system leaders [4] perceived to be key findings/outcomes they would value from our climate focused educational efforts.

Intervention Description: What did you do? Why is it innovative?

Our GME climate leadership team developed only a few brief questions in order limit key stakeholder interviews to <10 minutes: (A) What would you value as outcomes of our climate-related medical education programs? and (B) What evidence do you use/would you like to use that would convince you/your audience regarding the value that our climate medical education brings to our organization. Key stakeholder leaders were identified and an author was assigned to contact and interview the leader through e-mail, phone call, F2F. Project purpose was explained (eg, interested in their perceptions re: the value of GME climate education to our organization; reminder that climate is one of our five organizational pillars). A field notes worksheet was created for interviewers to note key findings. Respondent’s leadership role (eg, DIO, C-Suite, hospital president/CMO, sustainability) along with their responses to each question were recorded. Responses were then coded and categorized using standard qualitative methodology to identify cross-cutting themes and then plotted in the New Work Kirkpatrick Model.[5]

Outcomes/Findings: What did you find?

Interviews have been completed with sampling of 15 health care system, medical school, sustainability, DE&I, and education leaders across the continuum. Consistently leaders reported that Kirkpatrick Level 1 Reaction and Level 2 Learning were priorities given the “newness” of the topic. For example, leaders said, “just getting them to show up” or GME participants reporting that the “content was relevant to their work” and that it “improved their knowledge/skills” was the priority for evidence at this time. Interestingly at Levels 3 Behavior and 4 Results, leaders recognized that getting data showing that physicians had talked to patients was optimal but not realistic. Rather, leaders sought short examples from GME participants regarding how they incorporated a climate discussion with a patient (eg, “stories”; “brag blurbs”), particularly any that included the inequities of climate change impacts would be highly valued for inclusion into reports, newsletters, residency recruitment sites, and other media to highlight how we are achieving our system pillar priority.

Lessons Learned: What implications do these lessons hold for now or the future?

Evaluation focuses on the value or worth of an object, program, event. Discussing what key stakeholders would value as outcomes from an educational initiative that is aligned with a system priority and the associated evidence provides key insights into a feasible, realistic and practical evaluation strategy.