Dr. Sally Kaufman: Pediatrician and Environmentalist #3 – Dr. Plastic Picker

Dr. Sally Kaufman: Pediatrician and Environmentalist #3

| Posted in MDs Making Eco-Choices (Interviews)

Dr. Kaufman on her paddle board, cleaning our local bay.

December 16, 2019

by drplasticpicker

One of the best parts of my job as a middle manager is I get to work with our young pediatricians. I am tasked in my position with recruiting, orienting and “managing” them so that we keep our pool of talent strong. Through the last three years, these young pediatricians, almost a decade younger than I, have taught me so much about the world, life and relationships. In turn, I try to impart some pediatric knowledge but mostly financial advice to them. When I’m chatting with them about cases or their schedules, I sprinkle in non-sequiturs about interest rates, loan consolidation, 529 plans, and keeping your expenses low. I know, I’m kind of an odd middle manager. Although I have to say, my old residency mentor Young-Ho Yoon taught me much the same when I was an intern. I remember one of his talks was about investing in a Roth IRA! That’s a thorough senior resident https://drplasticpicker.com/dr-young-ho-yoon-pediatrian-and-environmentalist-1/. I do have to say, I think I’ve in turn also helped increase the young group I mentor’s collective net worth! My father was an accountant so personal finance comes naturally to me.

I met Dr. Sally Kaufman while she was doing her outpatient pediatric clerkship with us. She was an engaging, charismatic and thorough resident. I remember one infant that was on my panel. I think it was the 2nd child in the family. I was out of town and Sally saw them. Her care of them was excellent and she dealt with a complicated medication dosing regimen well. That was the pattern in all her clinic visits. I sought out to recruit her for our group. So I get to email her and text her about work, and I get to hear about her life. It keeps this middle-aged middle-manager young!

Dr. Sally Kaufman graduated from Ohio State University College of Medicine, and completed Internal Medicine/Pediatrics combined training at University of California, San Diego. Did I mention, she is one of those brilliant dual board certified med/peds doctors? When she is not caring for the young and old in clinic, she is outside at our local bay seeped in nature. I have learned that she is a passionate paddle-boarder, and is a true lover of the natural world. So here is drplasticpicker’s interview with Dr. Sally Kaufman!

What kind of coffee mug did you use this morning? I used a YETI travel coffee mug. I have a few different travel mugs that I rotate throughout the week from YETI, Contigo and Thermos and they’re great. They keep your coffee warm all day! I save money by making my own coffee at home and can use it for refills at work if needed. 

Do you carry a reusable water bottle? Can you describe it? I do. I typically use a 32 oz Nalgene or Aluminum water bottle every day. They’re BPA free and have held up great for years. I prefer the Nalgene and aluminum bottles since they are lightweight and easy to throw in your purse, work bag or carry several for a hike when you need to take several liters of water. 

Your last trip to the grocery store, did you use a reusable grocery tote? Can you describe it? Yes! We have several reusable canvas grocery totes. My favorite is the one from Trader Joes that is slightly larger than your typical plastic grocery bag but made of canvas and has sturdy, wide handles so they don’t break when you are carrying a full bag. I’ve also purchased reusable mesh produce bags from Amazon. They come in variety packs of different sizes and shapes and are great for fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, oranges, tomatoes, limes etc. You can leave the produce in the mesh bag and place it directly in your cabinet or fridge and the produce keeps better than it would in plastic bags and also eliminates waste! Finally, my favorite way to buy things like grains, nuts, trail mix and dried fruit is in bulk. There are several grocery stores in town, like Sprouts, that are starting to offer more bulk purchasing. They allow you to bring in your own reusable containers and fill them in the store. We have several glass canisters in different sizes I got from Ikea. It is also usually less expensive than buying things prepackaged! 

What kind of car do you drive and how many miles per gallon do you get? How far is your commute to work? It depends. My husband and I share a Nissan Leaf which is a fully electric plug in vehicle and a Saturn Aura which only gets about 25 mpg. Right now, we do not have the ability to charge at home, so I use the Nissan Leaf if I am able to charge at work or on my way home but my use of it is limited to how far away clinic is (which varies daily for me) and if there is charging available at the clinic. I am looking forward to the day when more clinics offer electric vehicle charging! 

What things have you done for the environment lately? This weekend I volunteered in Ocean Beach with I Love A Clean San Diego doing drain stenciling “Stenciling” is painting sewer drains that flow directly into the ocean to raise awareness that nothing should be emptied into the drain or street nearby or it will flow directly into Ocean Beach waters. I’ve done several beach clean ups with I Love A Clean San Diego and they are a great organization that helps put on many events throughout the day. On a daily basis, I eat a vegetarian diet which has a lower carbon footprint than a traditional Western diet with more meat. One of the things I am most passionate about is cleaning up Mission Bay. It is such a magical place and I love to paddleboard. It is incredibly sad how much trash you find floating out on the water. Today I picked up a small tire and plastic flower pot while I was out! 

What are your feelings about drplasticpicker?
I think drpalsticpicker is a wonderful way to raise awareness about the things that we can do in our everyday life to minimize our daily impacts on the environment. It gets the conversation started. Half the battle is realizing that in order to make a difference we have to adjust our lifestyles. It’s not easy to change, it’s sometimes inconvenient and almost always uncomfortable at first, but the benefits are far too rewarding to not give it a try! 

Plastic Picking and photo credit by drplasticpicker.

Did you see what Dr. Sally Kaufman picked up??!!! She is a plastic picker too. She can reach plastic that I cannot. I was always a big fan, but now she has sky-rocketed in my esteem! Thank you Dr. Kaufman for all you do for our shared patients and our shared environment.

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