Dr. Young-Ho Yoon: Pediatrician and Environmentalist #1 – Dr. Plastic Picker

Dr. Young-Ho Yoon: Pediatrician and Environmentalist #1

| Posted in MDs Making Eco-Choices (Interviews)

Young-Ho Yoon’s son enjoying the beach a few summers ago. No plastic in this frame! In this picture his son looks like an airborn spider-man. Photo credit by the child’s mother.

November 18, 2019

by drplasticpicker

I want to introduce you to my first in a series of interviews with Pediatricians who are either “drplasticpickers” or more importantly defenders of our environment. Pediatricians are natural allies to the children fighting for the environment, as the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated children will bear the brunt of the effects of climate change.

Dr. Young-Ho Yoon did his undergraduate at Harvard University, earned his MD at Vanderbilt University and completed Categorical Pediatric Residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston. He is also my “senior resident” and a close friend. Everyone who is in medical training has someone a few years older, who was always the more senior trainee that they were by chance paired. For me, that was Young-Ho. He was my intern when I did my 3rd year medical school Pediatrics rotation. And most times when I was the inpatient ward intern on Ellison 17 and 18 (back then in the early 2000s), he was my senior resident.

The man taught me about fluid management, to always think of patients by systems as I went through a plan and always to carry around the instruments I needed to decompress a pneumothorax. If you wonder how I can rattle off the sodium concentrations of most types of intravenous fluids, and am OCD about fluid status – he is the reason. He also adored my chubby infant who I had in residency. I will always be truly grateful to him for that. He is now a partner at Charles River Medical Associates in the Boston area https://www.charlesrivermed.com/provider/young-ho-yoon-md/.

Dr. Young-Ho Yoon takes care of children during the day as a general pediatrician and has 2 young very talented children he is raising at home, with his even busier OB-GYN wife.

Here is his interview with drplasticpicker!!!

What kind of coffee mug did you use this morning? I make coffee right when I wake up, so I use a ceramic mug.

Do you carry a reusable water bottle? Can you describe it? I don’t carry a reusable water bottle since I simply drink tap water (from a glass or ceramic mug) or use a water fountain.

Your last trip to the grocery store, did you use a reusable grocery tote? Can you describe it? I keep several reusable grocery bags in the car at all times, two are from Whole Foods, one has Amica Insurance printed on it, and several have our kids pictures printed on them (my wife had them made).

What kind of car do you drive and how many miles per gallon do you get? How far is your commute to work? I drive a Chevy Volt, which gets up to 42 mpg when using gasoline, but up to 106 MPGe when using electric, which is the vast majority of the time. My commute is about 10 miles each way, and I have begun using an electric bike to commute when the weather permits.

What things have you done for the environment lately? We are also going to have 18 more solar panels installed on our roof, and we are planning to replace our gas cooktop with induction, as well as our gas water heater with electric. We will likely add a heat pump dryer to use for laundry during non-summer months. We are meeting with a contractor next week to discuss the other changes to reduce our emissions. I also keep several metal utensils in the car so that I can avoid using plastic ones as much as possible when eating out.

Yes, thank you Dr. Young-Ho Yoon for all you do for the environment.

Dr. Yoon and his son. Photo credit by the Yoon family.

What are your feelings about drplasticpicker? I love my former intern. I think drplasticpicker is an admirable project, but I sometimes idly wish that I were a mad scientist who could create a new food chain at the bottom of which were bacteria that could break down microplastics. Or otherwise create a chain of thermostable enzymatic reactions to accomplish the same result.

As you can see dear readers, Pediatricians are always thinking and with this collective angst and energy and intelligence – drplasticpicker has hope that in the next 15 years that we can mitigate climate change, one piece of ocean plastic at a time, and one fun interview at a time! It’s 553am, and I have to go back to the real world of getting the kids and myself ready for a Monday morning (now that’s a whole other blog!). It makes my heart happy that my former senior resident is a true Earth Defender. If we have him on our side, we can do anything.

Come here to read our second interview with Dr. Craig Canapari from the Yale Sleep Center https://drplasticpicker.com/?p=808

Read here about my thoughts on how environmental behaviors can spread in social circles https://drplasticpicker.com/behaviors-are-contagious-i-am-trying-to-spread-a-good-contagion/

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