Children's health and environment education and training for health care professionals in Canada: assessing gaps, barriers, and needs

Int J Occup Environ Health. Oct-Dec 2009;15(4):410-5. doi: 10.1179/oeh.2009.15.4.410.


Scientific evidence suggests that children may be especially vulnerable to environmental hazards. However, medical professionals are often unable to effectively diagnose and treat environment-related illness in patients. To rectify this, many have called for improved post-secondary education and training opportunities in this field in Canada. This study aims to assess the state of education and training for healthcare professionals in children's environment and health, identify related gaps and barriers, and develop recommendations for improvement. Survey participants indicated three primary barriers to the integration of children's health and environment topics in current curricula: a lack of available expertise in the discipline in Canada, a lack of perceived importance of the topic, and a lack of financial and institutional support. A concerted effort must be undertaken to overcome the identified barriers to produce a cadre of healthcare professionals skilled in children's health and environment.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical, Continuing*
  • Education, Nursing, Continuing*
  • Environmental Health / education*
  • Humans
  • Nurses
  • Pediatrics / education
  • Physicians