Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What's a doctor doing - going green ?

When I was young and naive, I knew that I wanted a career where I would be helping people - so I became a doctor. 

A couple years into medical school ( WITS, Jhb, South Africa), we went on a rural rotation, and a beautifully dressed woman took us to see some new hygienic outhouses in a rural village where there was no such thing as a toilet that flushes.  She mentioned, that if one really wants to make a difference in the lives of a large number of people, one should really be in the sewerage development business, after all, no sewerage means more diseases.  Working as a doctor, you only get to help the lucky section of the population who actually has access to a doctor, and of course, you're only helping them once they're already sick as opposed to preventing them from getting sick in the first place.

Now at the end of the day, I did complete medicine, and I am working as a family doctor, (in Israel), and I did not go into sewerage... however the thought stuck with me.

This is why, when I stumbled upon the rather important information that my life was ruining the planet - and that there were many things that I could actually do to change that - it hit home.  I could almost hear the beautifully dressed woman in the rural village telling me; saving the environment one house at a time - now that's a way to really make a difference and help people.

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