News » MD Student Harleen Marwah Named 2020 Emerging Physician Leader

MD Student Harleen Marwah Named 2020 Emerging Physician Leader

Congratulations to Harleen Marwah, fourth-year MD student at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, who was awarded the 2020 Emerging Physician Leader Award by Health Care Without Harm.

The award, established in 2019 by the Health Care Without Harm Physician Network, recognizes a medical student, resident, or fellow who has demonstrated a passion for sustainable health care or a commitment to climate change and health leadership, according to the organization’s website. Marwah was selected to be one of four recipients for her climate and health leadership. She founded and leads Medical Students for a Sustainable Future (MS4SF), a community of over 250 medical students from all over the world committed to combating the health consequences of climate change.

“In the midst of a pandemic that is also highlighting fundamental injustices across society, I am committed to using my platform as an ‘Emerging Physician Leader’ to meaningfully advocate for the health of my patients,” Marwah said. “I feel honored to have been selected for this award among other leaders in this field whom I greatly admire. This award does not reflect my efforts in isolation; rather, it is a testament to the incredible work of all the medical students involved in MS4SF.”

Marwah found a mentor in Amy Collins, MD, a senior clinical advisor at Health Care Without Harm, and shared her vision for a national medical student group. Collins connected her with likeminded students, and in the first year, the MS4SF community grown to include 250 medical students around the globe.

“At any given time, we are working on at least 20 projects across advocacy, research, education, climate smart health care, partnerships, communications, plant-based health, and ocean health,” said Marwah. “From launching a podcast series, to leading meetings with congressional representatives, to hosting national journal clubs on the latest evidence regarding health and climate, medical students are engaging and collaborating on this issue in innovative and important ways.”

Marwah’s climate and health leadership extends outside MS4SF. At SMHS, she has worked with mentors to help develop the school’s climate change and health curricula. In 2018, she traveled to Rome, Italy, to attend the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s 45th Committee on World Food Security to discuss how climate change influences agriculture trends and impacts nutritional and health outcomes.

“This dedicated community of medical students inspires me to work harder and challenges me to grow as a leader,” said Marwah. “I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have led this group through its creation and inaugural year. The exponential growth of our group over 12 months illustrates not only the passion and drive of these medical students, but it’s also indicative that climate change is top of mind for future physicians.”

To learn more about the 2020 Emerging Physician Leader Award, visit