Special COVID-19 Issue #7
As hospitals and their ICUs are reach capacity in several states, doctors are struggling to deal with the emotional, physical, and mental toll of a virus that shows no sign of leaving. There are over 12-million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus globally, and the number of deaths far surpassed 500,000.
Now there’s another threat. “G4,” a swine flu virus similar to H1N1, that was discovered in China. It can spread from pigs to people, and current seasonal flu vaccines are reported not to be protective.
This newsletter takes a look inside the thoughts, feelings, and expectations of medical professionals and patients alike. Despite all the challenges, there are blessings within the healthcare system and likely your own life.
- ‘I Can’t Turn My Brain Off’: PTSD and Burnout Threaten Medical Workers | New York Times
- When Doctors Feel Burned Out It Impacts Everyone | PeopleTweaker
A Look Inside: Field Reports From Doctors
Doctors are people too. Sounds weird to point out the obvious, right? But the culture and training of medical professionals often messages an expectation that is heavily focused (understandably) on evidence-based treatment and the holy grail of cure. And while it also teaches cordiality, it is often cordiality caveated by emotional distancing.
As a result, physicians are sometimes viewed by patients as immune to the psychological toll which can accompany having responsibility for the health and sometimes the very life of another. And, as a result, physicians often internalize, suppress, and deny their emotions and normal feelings of connection.
The reflections below provide an insider’s view that makes it clear that doctors are indeed people too.
- They Call Us and We Go | NEJM
- Seven O’Clock | Annals of Internal Medicine
- On Becoming a Plague Doctor | NEJM
- Pandemic as Teacher — Forcing Clinicians to Inhabit the Experience of Serious Illness | NEJM
- I’m an MD in a Family of COVID Deniers | MedPage Today
The novel coronavirus is transformational, forcing all stakeholders to change and change quickly. It’s moving at lightning speed, not caring one whit if we are ready. There is neither the time nor the option not to focus on the patient and not to accommodate and embrace both different modes of care delivery as well as amended reimbursement methodologies.
Use of telehealth services has increased rapidly and is expanding access to care at a critical time, hospitals are advancing their digital footprint, and there is unprecedented healthcare collaboration.
- The Hidden “Blessings” of COVID-19: Let’s Not Blow It, People! | InsightMD
- The Promise and Perils of Virtual Health Care | The New Yorker
- 10 Big Advancements in Healthcare Tech During the Pandemic | Becker’s Hospital Review
- Penn Researchers Take Inventory of Drugs That Have Been Tried To Treat Coronavirus | Boston Globe
This is one of several special editions of Take One & Call Me in the Morning, focused on COVID-19. It’s brought to you by InsightMD. Get all the resources and tips from previous newsletters here.
Knowledge is power. Get the facts from the Centers for Disease Control.
Z. Colette Edwards, MD, MBA, leads Insight MD, a healthcare consultancy, which offers program design and implementation, targeted strategic planning and development, innovative product design, consultative data and clinical ROI analysis including benefit design and large claims analysis, health disparities/health literacy/cultural competency consultation, and PeopleTweaker, a coaching service line providing health, wellness, and life coaching and training in health coaching techniques for health professionals and support staff.