The footprint of a healthy doctor

Dr. Peter Anderson offered the inaugural lecture, which was entitled “The health footprint of a healthy doctor”. Dr. Anderson is a family doctor and specialist in public health. He created and directed the first primary care health promotion unit in the UK. He has worked for the OMS and has served as an assessor for the European Commission. He developed the concept of a “health footprint”, which can be assigned to individuals in the same manner as a carbon footprint. In his presentation, Dr. Anderson explained what physicians can do to improve their own health footprint, thereby improving their resilience, promoting health and preventing illness.

The health footprint seeks to explain who and what is influenced by the damage caused by addictive substances:

  • 1. An environmental understanding of human drug consumption allows for a wide range of solutions to reduce damages that go beyond drug “wars” to the labelling and stigmatization of individuals.
  • 2. A toxicological understanding of human drug use provides a wide range of solutions for the reduction of drug potency and distribution systems in order to lessen the resulting damage.
  • 3. A political understanding of the influence of drug producers provides a wide range of solutions to redesign existing economic and political systems in the short term, in favour of sustainable health and surroundings.
  • 4. The health footprint can help to drive change by identifying who is responsible (and how) for a reduction in years of healthy living.


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