Physicians tackle climate change: 5 takeaways

Practice Management

Primary care physicians garner the most trust from consumers on climate change issues related to health, based on a Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Community study, according to GreenBiz.

Here are five takeaways:


1. A Health Affairs study projected health costs related to climate change hit $14 billion between 2002 and 2009.


2. Physicians may consider using their unique role to advocate for policy change. Since climate change is hotly debated, some encourage physicians to present it as a health issue, as it may resonate with more policymakers.


3. Other advocates encourage physicians to implement green practices in their offices, by encouraging recycling and switching to renewables. Physicians may want to display reading material on how climate change negatively impacts health.


4. Some physicians strongly encourage the industry to clearly communicate climate change health risks to patients. Although many Americans understand climate change's general risks, they may not know specific health risks.


5. Physicians may want to point out the intertwining nature of patients' personal experiences, like worsening allergies, and the greater health risks associated with climate change.


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