Boston’s medical establishment is coming together to carry a message to area physicians and other health care workers: Climate change plays a role in many of the illnesses they see each day. A Feb. 13 symposium, “The Climate Crisis and Clinical Practice,” at Harvard Medical School (HMS) aims to help them anticipate those health effects to better treat and advise patients, and to discuss relevant issues with them when appropriate. The symposium is supported by HMS, area teaching hospitals, medical associations, and the New England Journal of Medicine. The Gazette spoke with organizer Renee Salas, an emergency physician, HMS assistant professor of emergency medicine, and climate change and health expert, about the need for the gathering.
GAZETTE: How did you get interested in climate as part of your work? You’re an ER doc, which one would expect would focus your attention on what’s right in front of you, sometimes second by second. How did you get interested in climate, and when did you begin to think hard about the intersection of the two?
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