Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health: We Got A Shout Out
May 24, 2021
It’s been a world-wind two years, especially the last year. While everyone was holed up and quarantining at home, our department went to the office every single day. We worked the entire time. With more time at home though because the kids were home and the rest of the world shut down, I further dived into climate advocacy work. I am proud of that work. Wrote a paper, spoke at what seemed like a gazillion virtual conferences, picked up almost 500 bags of trash, and kept up the blogging and climate advocacy recruiting, But the world is opening up and I’m resting right now. I still have projects coming up. Next weekend we have a PHAC dinner and need to socialize with the beautiful people in the slide. I’m actually looking forward to it. Going to make Mr. Plastic Picker come as well. It will be good for him. Our fearless leader Dr. Bruce Bekkar gave us a big shout out at the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health Conference, which I attended virtually with an HMO colleage. One of the UCSD medical students and the the two pharmacy student leaders from VCU Sustainable Pharmacay Project also attended. I didn’t check up on the three students, but I did nudge UCSD to pay for one’s registration and the other two students I paid for them to register. Technically we still have a day of meetings tonight. But I’ve lobbied already and there are enough people. At some point, you need to know as a climate advocate when you’ve done enough and let others help. Another pediatrician and the other premed student are going to help, as they’ve essentially planned and done everthing for the journal club on Clean Air that is upcoming. The social media ad that our premed intern made is really beautiful. I’m excited about that. Then there is the Eco-America training early June.
I don’t have any grand plans for the summer, other than to continue to sketch out the climate change clerkship. But even that there are three people interested in helping out. So that project should be relatively easy. I’m just trying to visualize the next for months and the climate work. I need to keep Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons free. I’m on my OFF time and I have to keep them free, as our 13-year-old daughter made the 15+ club volleyball team. Her father and I are so proud of her. I’ve disappointed her when she was younger. I missed one of the Halloween parades when she was 3rd or 4th grade. I was late to the school as I was supposed to help her with her angel wings. All the other parents (or at least it seemed to me) were there, but I was late. I remember she squeezed by hand so hard in anger, when I finally was there. I’ll never forget that day. I was late and she was upset, and she only wanted me. She wants me to drive her on Tuesday and Thursdays, and she’s worked really hard to make the 15+ team. I’m willing to give up multiple things to be there for her this next 4 months, as this will be her first season.
It will all work out. We got a national shout out for our work with the Public Health Advisory Commitee, Climate Actions Campaign. It’s fun to be acknowledged. But the two people I’m first responsible for are my children. I need their acknowledgement first, especially if they need me during the afternoons that are meant for them. I’m not getting paid during those afternoons, and I’m reminding myself as a women physician who is a mommy – it is okay to put my children first. Yet it is. Just like I texted my HMO colleague who is diving into climate work with me. And in the end, it’s amazing when we put our children first – we actually put climate work right there beside them. Objectively I know I will still be able to be impactful and accomplish a lot. I’m Dr. Plastic Picker and I’m a litter picker, and I know even once piece of plastic makes a difference.
I’m so excited! I’m going to be a Volleyball Mom! I had Mr. Plastic Picker order me a volleyball Tshirt. I know it’s a new Tshirt but it’s VOLLEYBALL!!! So excited for this next stage it my life. I can still be Dr. Plastic Picker, HMO middle manager, former burnt out pediatrician now crazy irreverent climate and health advocate. But I’m metamorphosizing into VOLLEYBALL MOM!!!