As our nation takes over in the number of worldwide COVID-19 infections, President Trump is considering relaxing social distancing guidelines stating that doctors want to "shut down the world" for a couple of years. To do our jobs to save lives in our communities, we desperately need PPE, hospital beds, and ...

Read more...

I woke up today wearing the lead suit of grief. I was tired, irritable, and tearful.  I was angry at the lack of PPE and the risk that this poses to my colleagues.  I was sad, anticipating the loss of my colleagues who are still alive and well.  I was in denial, wondering if I could sneak my kids out of town for spring break.  But in reality, I was ...

Read more...

When I look at his big blue-gray eyes, I see fear, sadness, resignation, and what only I can recognize as an attempt to reassure me. I can faintly make out small areas of moisture at the corners of his crinkled eyes, while I see him struggling for both words and breath. I can barely hear him over the beeping of machines next to him, screaming an alarm, that some parameter ...

Read more...

What a time to be alive. What a time to be a new emergency room doctor. Ten months into a hopefully long career and already facing the healthcare battle of my life. I’m in my early 30s. Not exactly the highest risk age group when it comes to the novel coronavirus. But make no mistake, people my age have died and likely will continue to. Being 100 percent honest, I ...

Read more...

I had been waiting for a FaceTime call back for a few weeks now, excited to share with my friend that I had decided which specialty I would pursue. It was when COVID-19 cast the darkness over New York City that I knew he would no longer be interested in that. My friend is a resident in New York City, and the conversation we had truly put things ...

Read more...

I am a physician, and I am scared. I am scared for my patients, my friends, my family, and most of all, I am scared for my colleagues. As an oncologist, I am not someone yet on the frontlines treating patients acutely diagnosed with COVID-19, although when the call for all hands-on deck comes, I will answer. Such is the nature of our profession. But no one told ...

Read more...

Many of us are learning and refreshing our knowledge of critical care and vent management, but how about acknowledging that one of the most meaningful aspects of the art of medicine is simply to bear witness to, and ease the suffering of our fellow humans? So much energy of modern western medicine is fixated on achieving a cure, and so many of us are trained nowadays to follow an algorithm to ...

Read more...

Who saw this coming? The invisible invader from realms unknown, Marching through continents, Ravaging lives and souls. With its intangible touch, it composes, An orchestra of frenzy and fear, With notes of anger and ignorance, Conspiracy theories commence. A battle ground emerges, Picture a vent and a bed, A loved one struggling for breath, Or lying alone, dead. The soldiers, we stand guard, When the onslaught comes, we fight hard. The staff and the snake ...

Read more...

I am sure this comes as a surprise to no one, but taking care of hospitalized COVID-19 patients outside of the intensive care unit (ICU) is really emotionally draining. The absolute fear and loneliness in their voices pierce into you. They keep asking for reassurance, and I’m providing some, but not enough of what they want or need to hear. Yes, you’re on oxygen, but not very much, and overall ...

Read more...

“Dark times lie ahead of us, and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.” - Albus Dumbledore After Voldemort’s return in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, the students of Hogwarts are faced with much fear and uncertainty. Suddenly a future that many had envisioned - progress through school, graduate, find a job - was no longer as straightforward as it ...

Read more...

Cardiac electrophysiologists (EPs) – like many other medical and surgical subspecialists in New York City – are volunteering and being reassigned to care for ill patients with coronavirus (COVID-19), their cath lab skills put to rest for the time being. EP is a procedure-based field, comprised of many “elective” cases that nonetheless improve symptoms and extend life. Amidst the pandemic, EP labs throughout the country are ramping down to solely handle ...

Read more...

Our country is facing a national health crisis on a scale that has never been seen before in our lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic is unchartered territory—a new strain of an old virus that has so far claimed more than 1,000 lives. Right now, we are all nervous for what’s still to come—not just for ourselves, but for our parents, grandparents, and the vulnerable groups, who seem to be most severely ...

Read more...

We are in the midst of an unprecedented moment in the history of medical education: Match Day ceremonies canceled, clinical rotations interrupted, and licensing exam centers shut-down. As the anticipated surge on the health care system due to COVID-19 looms, some programs are asking fourth years who have met graduation requirements to consider starting residency early. New York University is offering early graduation to fourth-year medical ...

Read more...

The image of patients dying in the intensive care unit is changing. Over the phone, family members cry on the other end as I tell them that we are not allowing visitors due to “the coronavirus” at this time. They tell me, “but I help make his decisions for him.” These decisions now have to be made over the phone. This is just what we have to do to keep society ...

Read more...

It has been a long time since we’ve been known simply as doctors. But, in the midst of this global pandemic, we return to the essence of our jobs: we provide care for people. Before we differentiated into various medical specialties, we shared a commitment to alleviating patients’ suffering. We swore the Hippocratic Oath. Today, we are called to make another shared commitment. Our families and communities are facing a threat ...

Read more...

Not in hospitals. Not in the clinics. Not spending an hour suturing a laceration, so the resident is available to help others. Not reminding the team that it's the day, and we should consider stopping the antibiotics. Not presenting on the latest COVID-19 treatment updates during rounds. Not writing the history and physical for the 4th admission the morning  - or for that matter, the progress notes and discharge summaries that are piling up. Not ...

Read more...

Traffic is non-existent. Schools are closed. Restaurants are only offering take-out and delivery. Parking lots at strip malls are empty on weekends. Only a limited number of people at a time are allowed inside the grocery store.

Welcome to the post-normal era since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the scene in Northern California.

One day we will look back at this time and realize how much it changed everything. Simple ...

Read more...

I work at a hospital that, like many others, has taken significant steps to prepare for a surge of COVID-19 cases in the next days to weeks. Many of our residents were sent home while assigned to elective services where we are "nonessential," to reduce our risk of exposure and deepen the bench of back-up providers. As I sit at home, preparing for what’s to come, my mind keeps wandering ...

Read more...

The coronavirus epidemic has proven to be a very challenging time for all of us.  However, we must never forget the commitment which health care professionals demonstrate every day in caring for our communities, especially during such times of dire need.  From nurses to physicians, respiratory therapists to pharmacists, and the administrative personnel that support and guide them, the dedication of our front-line staff in the hospitals and clinics throughout ...

Read more...

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced several measures guiding the care of patients during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Another important action that will immensely help the health care workers at the forefront is to reduce the documentation requirements for all patients. Health care workers should be unshackled from endless documentations freeing up their time and resources to take care of the increasing number of ...

Read more...

10 Pages

Most Popular

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories