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Inadequate Training of Professionals in Children's Environmental Health Issues

Numerous organizations have stated that because of the presence of environmental health hazards in communities, health professionals must be prepared to diagnose, treat, and prevent health conditions caused by environmental exposures. Unfortunately, a survey of environmental medicine content in United States medical schools showed that environmental medicine content over a 4-year period in 75% of the schools amounted to a total of 7 hours. A Migrant Clinician Network study found that about half of the doctors had no training in environmental or occupational health. A survey of chief residents of the United States pediatric residency programs showed that less than half of the pediatric programs included pediatric environmental health issues in their curriculum except for lead poisoning. The lack of environmental education in the training of physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, nurse midwives, and community health workers is a serious shortcoming in the protection of children. Numerous associations of health professionals have indicated strong support for better training of health workers in children’s environmental health issues and solutions.

 
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