Journal Notes: JGME Call for Papers on Climate and Graduate Medical Education

June 5, 2023

In 2021, the World Health Organization declared climate change to be “the single biggest health threat facing humanity.” Indeed, many of the social and environmental determinants of health, including clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food, and secure shelter, have been seriously affected in many parts of the world. Those with climate-sensitive health risks, particularly in low-income and disadvantaged parts of the world, have already felt the direct effects of heat waves, floods, low air quality, and food disruptions, as well as effects on their mental health.

The editors of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education (JGME) know that future physicians need to be prepared to care for patients facing these issues in the future. However, when searching published literature, they have found few examples of educational tools related to climate change and graduate medical education (GME). To address this gap and enhance access to climate-related resources for GME, the editors have issued a Call for Papers on Climate and GME to be collected in a supplemental issue to be published in late 2024.

In the journal’s most recent episode of its podcast, Hot Topics in MedEd, two of the supplement’s editors, Rebecca Philipsborn, MD and Matthew G. Tuck, MD, discussed the need for more work on the intersection of climate health and GME. Dr. Philipsborn, a pediatrician and director of a new climate change and environmental health initiative for students at Emory University, knows firsthand that young people are learning about climate change as early as elementary school, high school, and into medical school. Students are now very attuned to these challenges and are taking this knowledge forward into residency. In many ways, GME is just catching up. While she has seen residents themselves take more initiative, she wants to see faculty members more engaged. This highly informative 20-minute episode covers a range of climate-related health issues and offers ideas and resources for educators.

In an April editorial, JGME senior editors also made a forceful case for why GME needs this research now: “New educational tools to prepare physicians for future climate-related health problems are urgently needed. How can these new materials—including curricula, resources, experiences, and assessments—be integrated into currently overfull GME programs? How can faculty quickly develop, teach, and evaluate this content?” The editorial also speaks to the need for tailored approaches in GME, as each specialty and subspecialty faces unique patient health care challenges.

While gaps clearly need to be filled, there also may be more happening in GME than we realize. This is where the Call for Papers on Climate and GME comes in. As Editor-in-Chief Gail Sullivan, MD, states, “This is an extremely urgent issue facing GME. We hope that the supplement will help start the conversation, but it’s just a start. We want the supplement to help every GME program think seriously about training for climate changes, occurring now and soon.” She encourages the GME community to spread the word about this Call outside of their programs—to residents and fellows, non-physician faculty members and teachers, and other health system professionals. JGME has a variety of article types, and wants to hear from many perspectives, including international voices.

If you are considering submitting a manuscript, Dr. Sullivan and the supplement’s editors have the following advice:

  1. Think broadly about the intersection of GME and issues around climate change. The “Examples of Potential Intersections of Climate and GME” listed in the Call for Papers are not the only possibilities. The examples are there to help frame the possible scope of ideas.
  2. Read JGME’s Instructions for Authors carefully. They provide guidance on the range of article types and specific instructions on structure and format.
  3. Don’t hesitate to reach out in advance if uncertain about the applicability of a particular submission or if you have questions about how it might fit a specific article type. Email queries to

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2024, and JGME has already been receiving exciting questions and ideas from authors. As a reminder, all JGME content is open access, and there is no cost to submit work for consideration, so visit the JGME website and spread the word to your colleagues.

Guest blogger Kevin Gladish is a staff editor for the Journal of Graduate Medical Education. He’s been at the ACGME since 2016, and is also a performer, writer, and storyteller.