It’s a strange new normal for all of us as we keep practicing medicine while trying to avoid a viral predator. Below are some lessons I’ve learned since our COVID-19 reopening:
Explore This IssueAugust 2010
- I really dislike wearing an N-95 mask. I’m not sure what’s worse: smelling my own mucus after a four-hour surgery or the TMJ pain I have after a full day of talking to clinic patients.
- OR days are a little less fun when you can’t go from room to room to say hello to your colleagues who are also operating.
- We used to have hot food in the physicians’ lounge every day. Don’t get me wrong—I’m thankful for the free lunch, but eating pre-packaged egg salad sandwiches gets old after four months.
- Wearing scrubs every day is just awesome. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to wearing a tie in clinic again!
- I’ve gotten really good at spraying my own patients, typing all my own notes, and taking out all my own sutures as we try to limit staff exposure to patients. And, oh yeah, I’m also being asked to see 120% of pre-COVID volume patients to help make up for the lockdown financial losses. Don’t you just love hospital administrators?
- My patients are very understanding of the situation. Maybe it’s the limit to the number of visitors they can bring or their own discomfort about being in a medical facility, but, for whatever reason, they don’t have as many demands and don’t ask as many questions. Hey, who said there weren’t any positives from COVID?
- Unfortunately, education and research have largely been put on the back burner. For many in academics, we long for the days when we can be surrounded by an entourage of medical students, wax poetically about the multifactorial etiology of nasal polyps, and have face-to-face mentoring sessions with our research teams and learners.
- Last but not least, I miss going to meetings and conferences and catching up with old friends and colleagues. I’m all Zoomed out and ready for some hearty handshakes and belly laughs.
What tidbits have you learned? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be safe all and I look forward to talking soon.