Clinical Fellow, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
1) What has helped you work through the COVID-19 pandemic?
The support, creativity, and flexibility of my amazing staff and colleagues (particularly The Ottawa Hospital (TOH) vascular and endovascular surgeons and residents) have continuously helped me to continue working through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the physicians; surgeons; physical, occupational, and respiratory therapists; ultrasound, computed tomography, X-ray, and other imaging technologists; porters; unit clerks; administrative staff; cafeteria workers; cleaning, parking, and security staff have endured innumerable changes to their home and work lives, anxiety and isolation, and financial and personal hardships. Despite this, these individuals continue to adapt their work practices to provide care for those who are sick and/or suffering, prepare meals and ensure our hospitals are clean and well maintained, and perform research.
2) What message would you give to your fellow physician colleagues on National Doctor’s Day?
Respect. Thank you for risking your own health and continuing to provide amazing care to our patients during this stressful and strange time.
3) What message of encouragement would you give to the public during this time?
These are terrible times, but they won’t last forever. Be kind, friendly, understanding, and empathetic when you can while following the recommendations for your and others safety from our health officials.
4) Describe what work/life has been like for you over the last few weeks.
Definitely different both at work and at home. In hospital, my colleagues (physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals) and I have had to change how we see consultations in clinic and round on patients, shift the care of many patients from hospital to the community, vary the composition of our housestaff and on call teams, decrease non-urgent operations and delay non-urgent care to allow increased capacity to care for those affected by SARS-CoV2, and completely revamp our approach to physically caring for patients, among so many other changes. We have had to try to continue to provide compassionate care to patients suffering from serious illness while social distancing and wearing a myriad of PPE while also attempting to effectively communicate to those who cannot visit their friends and family members. Further, myself and so many of my colleagues worry the most about bringing COVID-19 home and infecting friends, family members, partners, and neighbours, particularly those who are elderly and most vulnerable. Outside of hospital, I have been unable to do many of the activities that I typically enjoy doing, and interactions with others are sometimes different compared to pre-pandemic times. I also find myself cooking, reading, and watching more than before. However, despite these changes, I am super thankful that the majority of my family, close friends, and fellow workers are safe and relatively financially stable.