PGY-4, Orthopedic Surgery (Chief Resident)
1) What has helped you work through the COVID-19 pandemic?
My Orthopaedic family are the most supportive, fun, and, self-proclaimed coolest group of residents, staff and admin. We help each other through the pandemic with virtual hangouts and a group chat to stay connected, de-stress and share jokes to ensure we are all smiling. We also have regular discussions about the pandemic and things we want to change in order to improve the care and safety of our patients and ourselves. I also work with my program director, Dr. Lalonde, to provide weekly updates to all ortho staff and residents; and I send out a weekly workout challenge to all staff and residents. We have fun working together whether in clinic or the OR, pandemic or not, because we care about each other.
Support during the pandemic is always, virtually, nearby through my family, fiancé and friends who often check in on me and regularly send encouraging messages. Other activities that help keep my stress level low and my mind and body healthy, are yoga and running (since golf, soccer and the gym are currently out of the question).
Also, I had just begun utilizing a 3D printer for my research when Covid-19 struck, and subsequently have kept myself busy by 3D printing face shields and mask headband attachments with the help of Dr. Adamczyk and Dr. Magnan – an unforeseen but very useful project!
2) What message would you give to your fellow physician colleagues on National Doctor’s Day?
Always stay positive and aim to take the best possible care of our community – both patients and colleagues. You will always derive satisfaction from helping others. Also, remember to carefully manage your physical well-being and mental health. You are welcome to follow @ottawaorthochallenge on instagram for the weekly ortho workout!
3) What message of encouragement would you give to the public during this time?
Together we are facing a difficult situation with lost jobs, struggling businesses, lives that are on hold, and getting antsy at home. The public should know that all healthcare workers are doing their best to cope with the changes Covid-19 has brought and we appreciate everyone following the government’s guidelines. We are here for each and every one of you, and we will get through this pandemic together. In Orthopaedics, we are dedicated to providing urgent care for all trauma and fracture cases at this time, and we are committed to working with the hospital and government to get our elective clinics and operating rooms up and running as soon as it is safe to do so in order to help our patients.
4) Describe what work/life has been like for you over the last few weeks.
The hospital has changed as there are no visitors for our patients, the hallways are empty, and it is eerily quiet. The atmosphere of caution is uncomfortably accompanied by wearing masks all day and more PPE than we have ever worn. From a training perspective, we have no elective clinics or surgery happening and are worried about our education. However, the saddest change is seeing our patients struggling and alone in hospital after surgery. We are concerned about our patients who are suffering at home for cancelled surgeries that would no doubt relieve their pain and improve their quality of life. We hope the pandemic curve starts to flatten so we can get back to our usual work of helping others.