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Inside the Lab Laboratory management, Profession

How Can Pathology Preserve the Environment?

A few months ago, when I decided to write about the environmental crisis, I could not have imagined the state of the world as it is today. It seems almost inappropriate to be talking about issues other than COVID-19 in these surreal and devastating times – but, as our routine testing volumes temporarily decrease, it does allow for a period of reflection.

Although I have been enamored with pathology since starting my residency, I am simultaneously dismayed at the amount of waste that we produce on a daily basis. Sadly, we are part of a much greater problem. I learned this year that, if healthcare were a country, it would be the fifth-largest polluter in the world (1). Depressing? Yes. The sector responsible for keeping us healthy is a massive contributor to illness around the world. From vector-borne diseases to respiratory illnesses and food and water insecurity, climate change is expected to have a significant impact on human health in the coming years (2). As healthcare professionals, we must advocate for a healthier world for those we serve.

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About the Author

Lara Richer

Pathology Resident (PGY-5) at McGill University Faculty of Medicine, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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