Coronavirus, COVID-19, social distancing, quarantine, flatten the curve, wash your hands, do not touch your face: These are not terms that I am reading out of any of my of medical school books, these are terms that have become a reality for every household in the world, irrespective of nationality, socioeconomic status, gender, creed, etc. I write this article not as a physician, but as a person full of fear and ...

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It is a dark time to be a physician.  Yes, because of the global pandemic- watching our colleagues in other countries die, staring down the barrel of not enough ventilators, reading the New England Journal of Medicine’s paper on how to choose who gets care and who we allow to die. But we are trained for this.  We are up to the task, to take care of the ill.  What is ...

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It is well known that physicians are more likely to screen positive for depression and have higher rates of suicide than their counterparts in the general population. But how is this fact exacerbated by the global pandemic of fear, anxiety, and mounting death tolls known as COVID-19? For starters, health care workers are at the front lines of the emerging disaster, having to ...

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I recently received a postcard in the mail titled “President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America.” The first of these recommendations is to follow the directions of my state and local authorities. In my community, notable restrictions on commerce have been handed down by my governor, my mayor, and a county judge. This has had a crippling effect on our local economy as we brace for the storm to get worse. For ...

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I am scared as I sit down to write about our journey as a small practice as we fight along with the rest of the world against the unthinkable force of nature in the form of a COVID-19 pandemic. My small primary care practice is only two years old. In a time when medical practices are already dying, the financial consequences of social distancing as a response to COVID-19 can ...

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All my life, I’ve been told that I will have job security. No matter what, as a doctor, I will always have a job despite whatever may come. I have chosen one of the most stable and secure jobs that exist. But did I?

Coming from a family of clinicians -- seven physicians, two nurses, and one LPN -- one would assume that we are safe and secure, for ...

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As I change out of my scrubs in the resident lounge bathroom, I am exhausted and numb. I put on sweatpants and a T-shirt, taking care of folding my scrubs to avoid touching the dirty spots. I wipe my phone and keys with an antibacterial and antiviral hospital wipe, and place them into my bag. I hang my white coat on a wall hook in my workroom, my stethoscope in ...

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Every aspect of life has been affected by COVID-19, including medical education. Since March 17, medical schools across the nation have suspended clinical rotations, per guidelines from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The target end date for this temporary pause was set originally to March 31. The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) followed suit, declaring that Prometric testing centers were closing ...

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Today, I put my role of doctor above my role of mom. Today, my physician husband and I made the difficult decision to send our daughter to live with my in-laws for the foreseeable future as we prepare to battle coronavirus in New York City. I am a pediatric hospitalist, and a few weeks ago, I had no idea what things would look like for me at work. We heard that ...

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Two weeks ago, I wrote to describe our pandemic situation as a labor of love. Now, as a fourth-year medical student - the only word I can find is: fury. I am absolutely furious. I am furious that the country's leading public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been muzzled and not permitted to speak directly to our people. I am furious that our federal ...

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“Hey buddy, can you spare some ventilators?”

No, this is not an attempt at dark humor. This is the preamble of numerous calls that are going on across the nation right now. Whether the call is made to a ventilator manufacturer or to other medical centers, hospitals are busy stocking up on the highly technical devices that are anticipated to be in short supply. Here in North Carolina, where ...

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The current pandemic of COVID-19 has already brought out the best and the worst in people all over the world. These dark days have also brought out some deep-seeded feelings of fear, anger, selfishness, and, thankfully, selflessness. As a surgeon in a busy tertiary care center, and as a human living in tony Los Angeles, I see the best and the worst in humanity in a matter of minutes each ...

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Several weeks ago, Americans physicians started receiving reports that our Italian colleagues were being forced to decide which of their patients would receive life-sustaining therapy for COVID-19. Across the United States, American physicians are on the brink of similar devastating choices, if they’re not there already. Some states have started preparing by creating guidelines to help physicians make ...

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In a physician WhatsApp group, a doctor posted he had a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit and muscle ache, gently confessing that it felt like his typical “man flu” which heals with rest and scotch. He worried that he had coronavirus. When the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for the virus on his nasal swab came back negative, he jubilantly announced his relief. Like Twitter, in WhatsApp, emotions quickly outstrip facts. ...

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I am a practicing emergency medicine physician in Indianapolis, IN.  I work in a county hospital whose mission is to serve the underserved.  I, like you, was born into a life of privilege with white skin and parents with the means to provide all that was needed and more. My college education was paid for, and I lived a carefree life through college. I graduated from pharmacy school and entered the ...

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I am a frontline health care worker.  I am an emergency physician.  I am also a mother to two glorious, growing, miraculous children and wife to a handsome triathlete stay at home dad.  Additionally, I am one of three daughters to a pair of still practicing exceptional pediatricians in their late 70s, and sister to two strong, beautiful women.  I am also a severe asthmatic only well controlled by puffers ...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has threatened our physical and mental health and the very fabric of society. Social isolation has devastating consequences on small businesses, but it has also opened doors to remote business opportunities in the virtual world. Medicine has long been ready to launch telemedicine. However, bureaucratic red tape has prevented this from happening in real-time. Archaic regulations have stifled growth. However, necessity is the mother of ...

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On July 21, 1861, spectators traveled to Manassas, Virginia to witness the first battle of the American Civil War. The rich citizenry of the Union wanted to see how easily the Confederacy would collapse against the Federal Army, giving a quick end to the secessionist slave-owning states. Unfortunately, the Union Army came decidedly unprepared, and the Confederacy won that battle, sending the spectators scurrying, as well as the entire Union ...

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When did physicians and other health care workers become expendable pawns? When did they become unwitting participants in corona roulette? When hospital systems began to mandate that, in spite of known exposure, in spite of even a positive COVID-19 test, physicians (and their colleagues) continue working. When hospital workers are informed that if they are caught wearing masks when not seeing a confirmed COVID patient, disciplinary action will be taken.” When physicians receive ...

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Physicians are leaders.  As leaders, we are focused on how to ensure safety for our coworkers while also acknowledging a need for stewardship of scarce supply of resources, namely, personal protective equipment (PPE). I have a particular interest in this topic since I am an emergency physician with a high-risk newborn at home (who spent time in the neonatal ICU just a ...

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