Physicians encouraged to “go green”

Physicians are being urged by the World Medical Association to “Go Green”.

The WMA is offering physicians and their national medical associations a free online service, My Green Doctor, to add environmental measures and climate change awareness to their medical practices.

Dr. Todd Sack, managing director of the service, said that most physicians and other health professionals who use My Green Doctor will save money by lowering office expenses. My Green Doctor explains how the clinic starts its own Green Team that meets for a few minutes each week to make gradual changes. Each step is described, so no environmental knowledge is needed. One American practice has been saving more than $2000 per physician year.

The benefits of “going green” will be seen almost immediately, with savings to electricity and water bills. The program goes on to help the practice to adopt wise choices in chemicals usage, recycling, food choices, and transportation decisions. Tools for teaching patients and families good environmental choices and climate change preparedness are also a big part of what My Green Doctor offers.

Dr. Sack said: ‘Patients look to their health providers for role models. When we recycle, keep organic gardens, bicycle to work or drive energy-efficient cars, our patients and neighbours pay attention.’

My Green Doctor is a free service for WMA members who register at Members receive a free waiting room certificate – available in any language – just for registering.

Dr. Sack added: ‘Now used by physicians in 35 countries, the WMA’s My Green Doctor program could be valuable for all members of national medical associations’.

Audio quote: