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A round-up of the second day of Medicine 2023

The second day of Medicine 2023 opened with a keynote lecture from Dr Simon Buckle, director of research strategy and programmes for Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge.

Dr Buckle focused on climate responses from a broader perspective, assessing the efficacy of potential responses to the scale of the challenge, and analysed geo-political variations that have often hindered international climate negotiations. Dr Buckle also highlighted the need to address the related and growing threats to biodiversity and global ecosystems ­– and considered different strategies that could be adopted in order to limit global warming.

The conference’s central theme of sustainability in healthcare was also reflected in later sessions on air pollution, and in talks discussing the future of green surgery, the planetary health report card, and the Health for a Green New Deal movement.

Medicine 2023 also offered clinical updates and expert insight into other areas of health and medicine, from global perspectives on cardiology to a session on recovery, rehabilitation and disability. In a session on oncology, Professor James Larkin gave an update on immunotherapy for the generalist physician, addressing some commonly asked questions and discussing the future of immunotherapy. Dr Tim Cooksley then gave a presentation on managing immunotherapy toxicity, while Professor Stuart Rosen and Dr Ayesha Akbar spoke on cardiotoxicity and checkpoint inhibitor colitis respectively.

The first session after lunch saw the presentation of several lectures: the Linacre lecture (on what pandemic infection can do to the human brain), the Croonian lecture (on dermatology and diversity) and the Lady Estelle Wolfson lecture (on the epidemiology of primary liver cancer).

Later in the afternoon, Dr Shruthi Konda chaired a session on sleep medicine, which began with Dr Leanne Fleming’s presentation on insomnia, its aetiology, impact and treatment. This was followed by Professor Anita Simmonds’ review of obstructive sleep apnoea and obesity hyperventilation syndrome. Professor Malcolm von Schantz joined the conference online to explain the importance and impact of circadian rhythms on health, before the session was completed by Dr Kirstie Anderson, whose talk invited delegates to consider sleep quality within the hospital setting itself.

The day finished with a lecture from Professor Sir Andrew Haines entitled, 'climate change and health – from crisis to opportunity.' In his presentation, Professor Haines outlined how increasing temperatures around the world pose physiological risks to those who work outdoors, as well as the projected yield change for global crops over the coming century. In the second half of his talk, Professor Haines focused on what actions are required to reverse these trends, and the simultaneous public health benefits that could also be realised by taking action against climate change.

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