Reader Poll: Should Physicians Be Leaders in Responding to Climate Change?

June 16, 2016

The American College of Physicians (ACP) recently urged physicians "to help combat climate change by advocating for effective climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, helping to advance a low-carbon health care sector, and by educating communities about potential health dangers posed by climate change," said ACP President Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP.

In a Medscape interview, Dr Riley said that physicians are seen as people with authority and credibility in their communities, and they can have a big impact on educating their patients about health issues, such as respiratory and heat-related illnesses, vector-borne diseases and malnutrition and behavioral health problems resulting from climate change and air pollution.

In addition, the ACP article, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggested that physicians try "greening their practices" by installing energy-efficient lighting, heating, and air conditioning; implementing recycling; using water fountains instead of water bottles; and switching to renewable resources like wind and solar for electricity.

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