Letter: Are GPs qualified to talk about climate change?

Professor Ian Gilmore says the profession should 'speak out about climate change' (GP, 4 December). I wonder what training and qualifications GPs have to comment on such matters?

Family doctors, like everyone else, should be aware of climate change, but for GPs (or in his case, physicians) to speak with authority on the matter goes beyond our professional limits. I accept his suggestion that driving less and eating less meat may have health benefits and I am happy to advise my patients on these issues. However, it is not appropriate to extend that advice to saying that meat production is a great contributor to carbon emissions.

Should I comment on such issues, it would be based on assumptions based on information from the media and other channels.This would be an abuse of my position of respect. I suggest we let the climate scientists make their own arguments and GPs deal with healthcare.

  • Dr David Gillman, Ross-shire, Highlands.

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