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Table 2 Summary of respondents’ knowledge and opinions regarding the health impacts of health sector pollution and climate change

From: Medical, nursing, and physician assistant student knowledge and attitudes toward climate change, pollution, and resource conservation in health care

Knowledge and opinions regarding health impacts of health sector pollution and climate change
Responses shown are % of respondents who “agree” or “strongly agree,” unless otherwise noted
 Medical Students
% (N)
Nursing Students
% (N)
Physician Assistant Students
% (N)
Combined Students
% (N)
I am concerned about the health impacts of climate change
Agree or strongly agree93.3 (153)
(Question N = 164)
94.6 (52)
(Question N = 55)
95.7 (44)
(Question N = 46)
93.9 (191)
(Question N = 265)
I am concerned about pollution stemming from the health care industry.    
Agree or strongly agree70.7 (118)
(Question N = 167)
82.1 (46)
(Question N = 56)
93.5 (43)
(Question N = 46)
76.9 (207)
(Question
N = 269)
Of all US greenhouse gas emissions, what percentage do you think is emitted by the health care sector?
% respondents correctly identifying “10%”33.5 (55)
(Question N = 164)
47.3 (26)
(Question N = 55)
43.5 (20)
(Question N = 46)
38.1 (101)
(Question N = 265)
The recently reported disease burden associated with health care sector pollution is of the same order of magnitude as the disease burden associated with medical errors first reported by the Institute of Medicine (To Err is Human).
Agree or strongly agree22.4 (37)
(Question N = 165)
43.6 (24)
(Question N = 55)
32.6 (15)
(Question N = 46)
28.6 (76)
(Question N = 266)
Physicians/Nurses/Physician Assistants and health professionals have a responsibility to conserve resources and prevent pollution within their professional practice.
Agree or strongly agree88.3 (143)
(Question N = 162)
92.5 (49)
(Question N = 53)
95.7 (44)
(Question N = 46)
90.4 (236)
(Question N = 261)