Coronavirus on a typewriter type


March 25, 2020

A Boston internist’s experience treating coronavirus patients

podcast via phone and headphonesHow can primary care physicians expect to see their practices change because of the coronavirus? A Boston internist physician says that changes will come, and that they will come quickly. In a New England Journal of Medicine podcast, Susan Sadoughi, MD, an internist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, explains how quickly her life changed as the pandemic approached. Dr. Sadoughi’s group went from seeing scheduled patients in the office to triaging patients into groups of people who can be postponed, who can be treated over the phone, or who have COVID-19 symptoms and need to be seen in person. She also talks about the safety precautions her practice takes and how she plans to keep her family safe from any exposure to the virus that she faces herself.

March 20, 2020

Connecting with colleagues while social distancing

A San Francisco-based MD-storytelling collective wants to hear from you! While it has suspended its live storytelling events, The Nocturnists wants to collect stories from front-line providers about the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual experience of practicing during a pandemic. Far from polished narratives, the group wants to hear what its press release calls “moments of fear, boredom, adrenaline, panic, heroism, frustration, innovation, ambivalence, or deranged joy. All can be true.” The group is also soliciting health care workers who want to maintain an audio diary over the next several weeks.

A view from emergency department physicians

An article in the New York Times takes a look at the physical and mental toll that the coronavirus pandemic is taking on emergency room physicians. The article notes that some physicians are considering “dirty doc” living quarters they can sleep in to avoid infecting their families. A 35-year veteran physician says that most physicians have never experienced this level of angst and anxiety, adding that he feels like a “pariah” in his community because of his potential to infect friends and family. The article notes that one large ED staffing firm reports that it has five times as many physicians under quarantine as it did a week ago.

A view from a Seattle internist

An outpatient internist in Seattle describes how she has gradually come to accept the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak in one of the country’s hot spots for the virus. The physician explains that while her sense of alarm has been deadened by years of practicing medicine, she has now reached a point where she’s more afraid of the future than many of her patients. The internist lists the things she’s been grateful for—the help of NPs and drills that helped everyone prepare for the crisis, for example—and she implores physicians in other parts of the country to prepare for the virus.

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