Social Justice EM Podcast E01: What’s Nuclear Energy Got To Do With It: Emergency Medicine & Climate Change

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CanadiEM Podcast Series: Social Justice EM Podcast |

Host: Amie Archibald-Varley RN, MN | Guest: Dr. Chris Keefer

What is our role as healthcare providers when it comes to discussions on climate change?  How can we reduce of carbon footprint? What changes can we make in the healthcare system to reduce carbon emissions? Is wind and solar energy our only options?

Climate change can be a tricky topic to navigate but it does not have to be. More and more clinicians are engaging in understanding the importance of climate change and the impacts to patient care. If we are trained to think about upstream medicine–that involves understanding climate change.  

In this episode, I talk to Dr. Chris Keefer, an Emergency Medicine physician is who is a pro-nuclear climate and clean air activist and the host of the Decouple Podcast and WeCANDUIt! podcast. Dr. Keefer is the president of Canadians for Nuclear Energy, a grassroots non-profit made up of climate, health and labour advocates. We discuss Dr. Keefer’s trip to The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), the summit’s outcomes, the impact on climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We discuss the impact of waste in hospitals as well as tackle the conversation in relation to sustainable energy sources for healthcare. 

Is nuclear energy the answer? From, Fukushima, to Chernobyl and weapons of mass destruction, we discuss the stigma surrounding nuclear energy. We dispel myths and uncover truths regarding the impact of using nuclear energy and what it may mean on larger scales. We discuss how the integration and continued use of nuclear energy in healthcare and generally is “…reliable electricity and stable high-paying jobs that last generations”. This is episode is a must listen!

Dr. Keefer also has with an interest in activated learning through simulation based medical education. He is the director of EMDeliberate practice, a high risk medical procedural training course. He is also the founder and director of Doctors for Nuclear Energy


Beyer, E. J. (2021, March 31). Why more and more environmentalists want to go nuclear. Interesting Engineering. Retrieved January 24, 2022, from 

Climate Change and Effects on Medicine:

Global Vaccine Inequity:

Nuclear Q & A:

November 11th 2021 | By Natasha Bulowski, 2022, J. 9th, January 7th 2022 | By Linda Solomon Wood, & January 6th 2022 | By Camilla Bains. (n.d.). COP26: Environment minister Guilbeault confronted on nuclear energy. Canada’s National Observer. Retrieved January 24, 2022, from 

World Health Organization. Climate change:

LinkedIn: : 



I am an advanced practice nurse who works as a Quality Patient Safety Specialist in Emergency Services and the current Director of Multimedia at CanadiEM. I am the co-host of The Gritty Nurse Podcast, an unfiltered podcast related to health and healthcare. I am also a dynamic speaker on health equity and antiracism in healthcare with the National Speakers Bureau.