Incorporating one health into medical education

Published Date
Journal
BMC Medical Education
Citation
17(1):45
DOI
10.1186/s12909-017-0883-6
Authors
Rabinowitz PM
Natterson-Horowitz BJ
Kahn LH
Kock R
Pappaioanou M
Abstract

One Health is an emerging concept that stresses the linkages between human, animal, and environmental health, as well as the need for interdisciplinary communication and collaboration to address health issues including emerging zoonotic diseases, climate change impacts, and the human-animal bond. It promotes complex problem solving using a systems framework that considers interactions between humans, animals, and their shared environment. While many medical educators may not yet be familiar with the concept, the One Health approach has been endorsed by a number of major medical and public health organizations and is beginning to be implemented in a number of medical schools. In the research setting, One Health opens up new avenues to understand, detect, and prevent emerging infectious diseases, and also to conduct translational studies across species. In the clinical setting, One Health provides practical ways to incorporate environmental and animal contact considerations into patient care. This paper reviews clinical and research aspects of the One Health approach through an illustrative case updating the biopsychosocial model and proposes a basic set of One Health competencies for training and education of human health care providers.

Keywords: Environmental health; Human-animal bond; Interdisciplinary education; Medical education; One Health; Zoonoses.