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News: SLMCCM holds first-ever summer school in global and planetary health

| June 1, 2023

Summer school participants together with the members of the St. Luke’s Planetary and Global Health Program led by Dr. Renzo Guinto


The Planetary and Global Health Program (PGHP) of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine-William H. Quasha Memorial (SLMCCM-WHQM) launched the first-ever St. Luke’s Summer School in Global and Planetary Health on May 29-30, 2023 at the Penthouse Lobby, SLMCCM Building.

Attended by 16 students from various year levels, the two-day course provided the platform for collective learning and solution co-design for global and planetary health challenges. This initiative is part of PGHP’s goal to create a community of St. Luke’s medical students who are passionate about going beyond clinical medicine and pursuing future careers in global and planetary health.

Students were exposed to the fields of global health and planetary health, diverse pressing health issues affecting the Philippines and the world today, and mindsets, frameworks, and skills that are necessary for addressing 21st century challenges. Some of the topics covered include climate change, health systems, commercial determinants, pandemics, food security, among others.

Apart from the interactive lectures and icebreakers delivered by members of the PGHP team, the students also co-designed research and action projects that together they will be pursuing in the coming months with support from the PGHP. The topics that were identified are: noncommunicable disease (NCD) prevention for people with disabilities (PWDs); reducing food waste in urban settings; investigating the role of community pharmacies in dispensing antimicrobials; rethinking family planning programs in the community; and the role of Indigenous Populations in protecting planetary health.

“We need a new kind of doctor who looks beyond the clinical, has skills enriched by different disciplines, thinks in systems and not in siloes, can navigate complexity, is dissatisfied with the status quo, and is committed to equity, social justice, and sustainability,” said Dr. Renzo Guinto, Director of the PGHP. “This summer school is one of the ways SLMCCM is contributing to producing physicians equipped to face the complex challenges of this century.”

Janella Francisco, an incoming Year Level 2 student, described her experience in the Summer School: “This program showed me that there is so much more that we need to know and to be involved in as future physicians. Being mindful not just of the health of the people, but of the planet too, is a necessity. This huge task can be daunting, but after this summer school, it made me feel that even as medical students, we can already do something about it.”

Rafella Gianna Javier, an incoming Year Level 4 student, also shared her insights about her experience: “The PGHP Summer School strongly emphasized ‘Health in Action’ and personally, it was the best way to cap off this academic year! I highly appreciated the enriching lectures, and the interactive activities were a perfect opportunity to showcase our advocacy for health and the environment. I cannot wait to be part of more programs like this in the future.”

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