As Paris prepares to host thousands of delegates to the United Nations Climate Change conference, the World Medical Association is urging physicians to look to their own offices and surgeries.
It is announcing the availability of a service to help doctors to adopt environmental practices and to share these ideas with their patients. My Green Doctor is a free website (www.mygreendoctor.org) that guides physicians to make changes in their offices that can save money for the practice and create both a healthier office and healthier community.
Dr. Otmar Kloiber, Secretary General of the WMA, said: ‘Doctors understand that the health of their patients is determined in part by how resources are used in their country, resources such as energy, water, chemicals and foods. For example, most of the world’s electricity and transportation requires burning fossil fuels, which contributes to air and water pollution, and to diseases such asthma and cancer.
‘My Green Doctor is a free service that is suitable for any outpatient medical setting—a clinic, an office, an imaging center or other facility. It teaches the staff members who work in the office how to form an office Green Team which would meet regularly to make changes in the office.’
My Green Doctor offers more than 140 action and education steps that the team can choose to adopt. The topics include energy and water conservation, climate change, renewable energy, solid waste and recycling, chemicals in the office and home, landscape management, transportation choices and healthy foods.
Dr. Kloiber added: ‘The website is comprehensive and easy to use. Part of its purpose is to show doctors how they might share wise environmental practices with their patients by teaching their patients and by providing information brochures in waiting rooms. In this way, doctors can improve the quality of the natural environment and improve the physical health of their communities.’
The WMA’s 112 national medical organizations now can use My Green Doctor and offer this free service to doctors in their countries. Doctor offices and clinics can fulfill the requirements of this program to qualify for the Green Doctor Office Recognition certificate.
My Green Doctor was launched on-line in 2011 by the Florida Medical Association of Tallahassee, Florida, USA. My Green Doctor’s partner societies include the World Medical Association, the Florida Medical Association, and the Florida Academy of Family Physicians.