This is a quote from a doctor from Rockport, Maine.
This physician's viral post in a Facebook Group for medical professionals fighting COVID-19 has received hundreds of "ME TOO!" replies from around the country within hours.
The doctor has agreed for me to share her outcry with you, requesting to be anonymous to avoid potential retaliation from her hospital administration.
It may be one person's voice but it saying what's on the minds of so many!
This is real. Please read.
I am starting to feel so confused. Too many questions, too little evidence based data, too many rapidly changing “guidance”, too many hypothetical answers. No PPE*, horrid non existent access to testing. We give and sacrifice so much for this job, this calling, this privilege of being a doctor, a job we love and now.... we are left out here vulnerable and abandoned. I just can’t wrap my head around it. So many of us exposed, maybe exposed, likely exposed. Our kids sick, family members sick, our patients sick and we have NO GD ANSWERS. So if my kid has a 104 fever what do I do? Go to the hospital, don’t go to the hospital? Ask for a test? Get a flu test? Yes you can be coinfected, but maybe not. Only this age or that age. No freakin actual facts. Good luck, sorry doc. You don’t meet the “criteria”. Your kid doesn’t meet “criteria” your patient doesn’t meet “criteria”. The magic fvcking criteria made up by people NOT on the front lines. So what do you do? Stay home, go in, possibly expose more people? Stay home for 3 days, 10 days, 14 days? Repeat test, oh wait no test done. So don’t repeat test. Wear a respirator, wait no surgical mask ok. It’s probably airborne and probably droplet. Use an N95 until you have the results of the test you can’t order. Really?!?!WTGDF !? It’s like a bad Vietnam War movie. The guy 1000 miles away from the gunshots is making all the decisions and he doesn’t really care if you live or die. This can’t be the reality.
I feel like I’m losing my mind. For $10 I’d put my family in the car, drive off into the woods and camp for the next 6 months. It’s all too much. Someone has to do something! Meanwhile people across the country- some my family and friends! Out in bars, out having fun without a care in the world. Not a shred of reality. And we will be resuscitating them and passing it- this amorphous unknown unpredictable motherfvcker of a virus to ourselves and our families. Why?!! I’m just totally lost."
* PPE - Personal Protective Equipment (like facemasks, etc.)
DOCTORS' HANDS ARE TIED
Although some hospitals are doing an excellent job with COVID-19 reponse, it appears that many doctors are forced to work without proper protective equipment. Many doctors feel that their hands are tied by hospital administrators.
Here is what this doctor had to say about the situation many physicians are facing. (Reposting with the doctor's permission):
"When exactly did physicians lose control of our profession?😢
I’ve read all the posts in this group, and am sensing such powerlessness and despair: story after story by my physician colleagues all across the country, of “ADMIN” * mandating things during this COVID19 crisis that we as physicians know are unethical and unsafe. They sit in their safe offices telling us that even though we have inadequate PPE** , we must make do and continue to work, reuse PPE and ask permission to access N95 masks*** that they’ve locked away. They’re refusing to “allow” us to cancel non-urgent routine appointments and surgeries -we have to wait for admin to decide. They’re refusing to “allow us” to test patients we know should be tested. They’re forbidding us from publicly posting about the crisis because we are “inciting panic.” They’re threatening our jobs if we don’t comply.
We are afraid to speak out because we don’t want to lose our jobs. We’re afraid to refuse to see patients without adequate PPE, both because of “admin” and a misguided sense of duty.
Every one of us that are working without PPE are at high risk of infection, and will become super-spreaders. We’ll be passing it along to subsequent patients during our asymptomatic period, and bringing it home to our families, before we then become infected patients ourselves. Won’t we end up infecting more people overall than if we refused upfront to see pts without adequate PPE?
We have no union, most of us are employees following the direction of people with half the education and intelligence than us. They’re the kings sitting on horses directing us lowly soldiers at the front line to charge, without swords and shields.
When did we become so powerless? And when this crisis is over, is anything going to change? Sorry for the rant and I actually don’t have the answers, just felt the need to vocalize what so many are feeling. God protect us all 🙏🏽
(ETA to be fair: I must say on a personal note that my organization has been overall very responsive to the concerns of its PCPs****, received our constructive feedback/suggestions and started instituting changes within the last week like 90% telemedicine, remote work for high risk PCPS...mainly because it is PHYSICIAN led. This is also why we need to #takebackmedicine.)"
* "ADMIN" - referring to hospital administration in this case
** PPE - personal protective equipment, such as face masks
*** N95 masks - the masks healthcare workers should be using to be protected from Coronavirus
**** PCP - primary care physician/provider
Dr. Maria Danilychev, M.D., is a San Diego based medical doctor with 20 years of experience and board-certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Hospice/Palliative Medicine, and as a Hospice Medical Director. Dr. Danilychev also conducts clinical trials and was one of the first responders during 9/11.