“‘Stay humble. Expect the unexpected. Remember you can do this.’
That was some of last advice I received as a resident. As I reach my 7th month of independent practice amid this pandemic, these words have never rang truer.
Right now, I provide telemedicine at my family practice and teach resident doctors in-person. We’ve opened our doors to newborns and parents in need of primary care as many doctors’ offices have closed. We also began preparations to support long-term care homes and homebound patients in our community.
Wearing my other hat as Quality Improvement Program Director, this time has simultaneously been incredibly challenging and rewarding. A year-long plan for adoption of virtual primary care tools has been shortened to a mere four weeks, and thanks to amazing residents and teammates, we’re ready.
COVID has shown us the power of connection. I see it in the differences in how patients feel during this crisis. Many are alone. I would feel the same way if I didn’t have such supportive colleagues and family around me.
I feel immensely privileged for what I have and COVID has given a profound reminder that even in the midst of plenty, many of us starve for connection.
This also is true for the healthcare system. COVID has exploited the fragmentation of our [healthcare] system, but in response, we’ve seen the tearing down of silos and inspiring system-wide efforts. There is a palpable sense of being in this together and no red tape is going to stop that.
Despite these unexpected challenges, we will rise to the occasion. But we must remain humble, learn, and come back stronger and wiser. Our future depends on our ability to connect – as clinicians, as systems, as societies, as a planet. And that’s what drives me now.”