In an article entitled Physician’s Social Responsibility, Catherine Thomasson writes:

Health professionals have the skills to be excellent advocates. They are trained to seek causes of illness and demand evidence to evaluate treatments. This leads them to understand that solutions advocated for social ills should be evaluated and proven effective as well. Most can translate scientific complexities such as diagnoses and treatments into layman’s terms and have the ability to communicate complex issues. In general, physicians are respected and have access to policymakers and the opportunity to influence public thought and public will.

 

She is discussing the fact that physicians, as guardians of health, have a responsibility to advocate for changes in the broader conditions that affect the health of humans, not only a responsibility to their patients as individuals. The UN’s recent report on the environment cites climate change and loss of biodiversity as one of these key pressures on the health of humans and human societies. We believe this is an inescapable call to action for physicians to start advocating for the health of the planet as a pathway to the health of their patients. Park.Doctor provides ways for doctors to contribute directly the health of protected areas – a cornerstone of conservation and ecology. 

 Thomasson quotes the American Medical Association, saying it exhorts physician’s to:

“advocate for the social, economic, educational, and political changes that ameliorate suffering and contribute to human well-being”

This is a clear statement to doctors, and the time to start working for meaningful change is now.

Physician’s for Social Responsibility (PSR) says “We must Prevent what we Cannot Cure” and it acts in the spirit of responsibility Thomasson is referring to, by mobilising health professionals on issues that represent the gravest dangers to human health. As well as activism against nuclear weapons, one of their key areas is Environment and Health: A strong medical voice for climate solutions. Their website serves as an excellent resource for doctors interested in some of the key climate and environmental challenges, and the work doctors can do to make a difference. 

 

Read the full article: Physician’s for Social Responsibility