Greening the Health Care Section: Dr. Plastic Picker really is a Doctor and Middle Manager
February 19, 2021
It’s totally out. It’s totally out in my HMO and physician group. I gave a podcast interview on physician wellness and I talked about Dr. Plastic Picker. I know it sounds odd since I’ve been out there already all over the blogsphere and Instagram for almost two years, but it was an oddly anticlimatic moment. I guess I’ve gone up the middle-management ladder so far already, that I realize that pretensions are silly and it’s the subtance of the person and their work that is the most important. I have no fear anymore of being ridiculed or looking silly. I’m totally out there now. And the reason I am out there is I need to make real changes from within and green our healthcare sector.
Everything is decomposing in my former “guerilla gardening” project up on the HMO parking lot. It’s not really guerilla gardening anymore since everything has decomposed, and I’m going to actually put real compost into those planters. There is an aloe tree and a bunch of succulents, but I’m just going to plant some bluberry pushes and a lemon tree soon. Why not. I even told the head of engineering (I think he is the head of engineering? It might be an imaginary person). And he was okay with it.
But the most important thing I’m doing is working on a pharmaceutical waste project. This is with the amazing students from the Sustainable Pharmacy Project. It’s a two part project, one on a provider knowledge survey on pharmaceutical waste and the other on reducing the amount of excess diabetic supplies and medications. As I had emailed the pharmacy contact “The Chief of Endocrine has also brought up the idea of reducing the amount of excess diabetes supplies to our patients, as their seems anecdotally inconsistent prescribing patterns and quite a bit of waste. I think this would be really interesting to try to dovetail environmental stewardship and also fiscal responsibility to our members.”
And some of getting things done is extending oneself and explaining the why. I wrote the pharmacy manager, “I would be willing to partner and work on this on my own time with you, as I really care about this. It’s technically outside the scope of pediatrics, but after hearing some of their talksb about the amount of beta blockers and antibiotics and statins in the water supply (fascinating stuff) I was very much motivated to try to push this idea forward. The healthcare sector contributes quite a bit to not only emissions but other environmental impacts, and this would help us get on the map and continue our climate leadership.”