They are physicians, mentors, partners, mothers, sisters, friends, colleagues - but most evidently, at the moment, they are heroes. I (virtually) sat down with five women physicians, at all points in their medical careers, who are working in several of the largest emergency departments in Texas, to talk about their experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the themes that I heard from each of these physicians was that the inevitable ...

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While recently on board an international flight, an in-flight medical emergency was called approximately one hour into a ten-hour journey. The overhead page most travelers may have heard while on a plane, “Is there a doctor onboard the aircraft?” The air hostess quickly led me to the front of the aircraft where an elderly passenger had vomited a substantial amount of blood in the bathroom and near her seat. I requested ...

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I wake to a WhatsApp call. It is my aunt, who lives in India. “We are all worried about you,” she says. “All of us here are praying for you. Make sure that you stay safe.” Coincidentally, she is a nun, so I’ll take her prayers whenever I can get them. I promise her that I will stay safe, and then I get ready to enter the ER. I don ...

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When I found out that health systems across the country contract with prisons for hospital laundry and other services, the same systems that train medical students like myself, someone dear to me was in prison. Each time I walk into a patient’s room and see fresh linens, when I wear fresh scrubs, I am still flooded with my friend’s calls and letters. Imagery of being surrounded by only concrete. Without ...

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On December 30, 2019, Li Wenliang sent a message to a group of fellow doctors warning them about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, where he worked. Meant to be a preemptive confidential message, he encouraged his colleagues to protect themselves against possible infection. When the local authorities became aware of his report, they summoned Dr. Li to ...

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It has been a week since terrorists broke into the maternity ward in Dashte Barchi, Afghanistan and killed 24, including women, newborns, and a midwife, and injured 16. One woman who had tried for seven years to get pregnant watched as her newborn was shot and killed.

The maternity ward is located in a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian medical non-profit known for ...

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June 2020 will mark 15 years of my departure from flying the friendly skies. I have had the privilege of working as a flight attendant for JetBlue Airways from 2001 to 2005. Today, I am proudly grounded as a physician specializing in pediatric emergency medicine. Gratitude is a positive mindset where you see your life and experiences as a gift. Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to reduce stress and build ...

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April 2020 was to be a month of personal milestones. I would be traveling to Mexico with sixty closest friends and family to marry the woman of my dreams. Twelve days later, I would celebrate my thirtieth birthday. Suffice it to say, I was looking forward to April with the excited anticipation of a child on Christmas Eve. But that was before COVID. Before all eyes were focused on the novel ...

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An excerpt from Fragile: Beauty in Chaos, Grace in Tragedy, and the Hope That Lives in Between. I remember standing motionless in the doctors’ lounge, staring at my hands. Things had changed. I was someone different, someone my family and friends might not recognize if ...

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Dr. Lorna Breen, an ER physician in New York City, killed herself after working the front lines in the pandemic.  Her death has created a call to action.  The headlines read that healthcare workers are suffering; they are heroes; they need support.  Dr. Lorna Breen was 49 years old.  I am 49 years old.  I am also a successful ER physician on the front lines of the pandemic.  I can’t ...

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An excerpt from The View From The Wrong Side Of The Day: A Story About Nursing, PTSD And Other Shenanigans. I'm not exactly sure when things first started to get bad for me. Thinking back, it was all rather like the analogy of the frog in the ...

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As an emergency medicine doctor who trained in the Bronx, I decided that I must return to NYC in solidarity. This is the first time I have taken an assignment with my colleagues' collective burnout as the focus of my intention. Previously I have placed the needs of my patient population first. As this COVID-19 pandemic continues to burn throughout the human species, I marvel at how crisis breaks down ...

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With COVID-19 still consistently creating setbacks in the health care community, we see yet another issue for medical students because of this pandemic. In prior years, the traditional medical student would be expected to be part of a team assisting medical professionals in the field, developing relationships with future mentors, and gaining the experience necessary to take on the difficulties presented in that given field. COVID-19 has been altering the ...

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Like many physicians not initially on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, I watched with growing dread as stories from doctors and nurses started coming out from hot spots first in China then in Italy and then Seattle and New York. Seeing their faces and hearing their voices, I was struck by their exhaustion and fear but also by their sense of responsibility and duty. I wanted to help, ...

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As my surgery rotation commenced, I fully expected to be immersed in the unfamiliar territory of "scrubbing in" and "sterile fields." While I discovered the difference between vertical and horizontal mattress sutures, two specific patients I encountered on this rotation opened my eyes to issues beyond the operating room (OR). After scrubbing out of a four-hour surgery, my attending requested I begin a consult in the emergency department for a possible ...

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This document is meant for information purposes. Please review the CDC guidelines for N95 mask contingency planning. FDA-approved methods On March 29, 2020, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for a proprietary hydrogen peroxide vapor (HPV) system for the decontamination of N95 FFR. This system allows up to 20 cycles of decontamination. In a study performed by the manufacturer of this system, there was ...

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Two years ago, I shared my thoughts on the joy of family medicine.  Two years ago, I was a senior resident working in Ann Arbor, thinking about who I will be when I graduate.  Two years ago, my biggest worry was if I could finish my notes in time for sign out and meet friends to play volleyball.  Today, I come with mixed but honest feelings considering recent events. As I ...

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Across our country, Americans are under a stay at home order.  People are toiling over the hardships of juggling so many things -- childcare, homeschooling, working, or not working -- all at once.  The day that society can rejoin the public sits like a mirage of water in the desert of their isolated lives. Health care workers yearn for that day as well.  In the hospital, that day ...

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Currently, over 60,000 people in the United States are projected to die from coronavirus.  While this is lower than earlier predictions, it is still an appallingly high number.  As two emergency medicine physicians, we have been steeling ourselves for the grim task that lies ahead of us in the coming weeks and months.  We will continue to go to work to try and provide the best care we can to ...

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Do all physicians and scientists not on the frontlines of this pandemic feel this, or is it unique to women? Women in medicine and science have long struggled with the sense of never having "done enough" and have pushed themselves even harder to get the same recognition accorded our male colleagues. Does that make us more vulnerable to guilt, or are we holding ourselves to unreasonable expectations? We arranged to ...

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