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Applying a One Health Approach in Global Health and Medicine: Enhancing Involvement of Medical Schools and Global Health Centers

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Multidisciplinary and multisectoral approaches such as One Health and related concepts (e.g., Planetary Health, EcoHealth) offer opportunities for synergistic expertise to address complex health threats. The connections between humans, animals, and the environment necessitate collaboration among sectors to comprehensively understand and reduce risks and consequences on health and wellbeing. One Health approaches are increasingly emphasized for national and international plans and strategies related to zoonotic diseases, food safety, antimicrobial resistance, and climate change, but to date, the possible applications in clinical practice and benefits impacting human health are largely missing.


In 2018 the "Application of the One Health Approach to Global Health Centers" conference held at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine convened experts involved in One Health policy and practice. The conference examined issues relevant to One Health approaches, sharing examples of challenges and successes to guide application to medical school curricula and clinical practice for human health. This paper presents a synthesis of conference proceedings, framed around objectives identified from presentations and audience feedback.

Findings and recommendations

The following objectives provide opportunities for One Health involvement and benefits for medical schools and global health centers by: 1) Improving One Health resource sharing in global health and medical education; 2) Creating pathways for information flow in clinical medicine and global health practice; 3) Developing innovative partnerships for improved health sector outcomes; and 4) Informing and empowering health through public outreach. These objectives can leverage existing resources to deliver value to additional settings and stakeholders through resource efficiency, more holistic and effective service delivery, and greater ability to manage determinants of poor health status. We encourage medical and global health educators, practitioners, and students to explore entry points where One Health can add value to their work from local to global scale.

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