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Coda Change

Jun 8, 2022

In this special podcast focused on the ‘Reduce Pathology Test Ordering’ step of the Coda Earth Action Agenda, host Laura Rati is joined by Forbes McGain. Forbes is an antitheist and intensive care physician who works at Western Health Melbourne and is also an associate professor of medicine at the University of both Sydney and Melbourne. He is passionate about making seemingly small, environmental financial and social sustainability changes to how we practise medicine, and is currently examining ways in which we can make hospitals more sustainable.


To open the podcast, Forbes and Laura discuss exactly what it is that makes Forbes most passionate about championing change when it comes to the environment.

Forbes credits two main driving factors – the first being that he is a strong believer that nature truly is extraordinary and delicate, and thanks to his childhood spent growing up on a farm - he’s really been close to nature, and he believes that loosing that would be deeply sad for people the world over. He also cites that as the father of two children, it’s really important that they get the chance to experience the things he has experienced in his life.

Forbes also touches upon the fact that climate change is just a single example of our overwhelming use of resources on the earth.


Forbes is a passionate advocate of Coda, and believes the global community of healthcare professionals are fantastic in exploring and taking the next step beyond research. He speaks to Coda’s ability to translate medical evidence and data to influence beyond the work practise of just one person.


When discussing how the Coda community can work collectively to make a huge impact on the environment, Forbes states that pathology testing – and the frequent overuse of these tests - is something everyone can be involved in; highlighting that millions of tests around the world can be reduced to lessen the environmental impact.


Laura and Forbes explore the unnecessary amount of atrial blood gas tests (ABG) that are done each year. They examine a hospital case which saw a third of over 65k blood gases performed annually ultimately deemed unnecessary. They consider the fact that everything healthcare professionals do has a carbon footprint, from a single pathology test right through to a new MRI scanner; meaning that reducing these tests has an impact on patients, finances and carbon footprint.


Finally, Forbes offers his advice to those who haven’t yet made climate change a priority, simply stating that educating oneself is the first step, and that while there are certain things you can do alone; there’s a lot more that can be done by collaborating with others.


Join Coda Earth now to reduce unnecessary pathology testing in your own practice.