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Dr. Kaitlin Janvary

Dr. Kaitlin Janvary, a first-year resident of family medicine in Hamilton believes that family doctors can make a big impact on reducing the climate burden by making small clinical changes in their practice. 

“Family doctors are in the perfect position to make changes towards more sustainable medicine.”

In addition to playing a fundamental role in the health of their patients and community, family physicians are also uniquely positioned to make decisions that will benefit the health of the planet. And, by making conscious choices in their practice, family doctors can make commitments to help limit the harm climate change inflicts on their patients.  

One opportunity she identifies, is to offer alternatives such as dry-powered inhalers to eligible patients rather than metered-dose inhalers. The reason for doing so, she says, is that the propellant from one metered-dose inhaler produces carbon emissions that are equivalent to driving 240 kilometers in a small vehicle.  

“Although it may seem insignificant, when we apply these changes to thousands of patients, you can see how the impact adds up.” 

The same logic can also be applied to advanced care planning, something that Dr. Janvary is passionate about. She notes that family doctors are able to build relationships with their patients and have in-depth discussions about what interventions they would want. 

“Every procedure and test generates waste,” says Dr. Janvary. “So, knowing what interventions a patient wants can help decrease the amount of energy and emissions that come from providing care and the transport of supplies and medications that may not be aligned with a patient’s wishes.” 

Read the Green Office Toolkit for tips to make your clinic green.