Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

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Colleen Farrell, MD+ Your Authors @colleenmfarrell Internal medicine resident in New York City. Soon-to-be pulmonary and critical care fellow. Writer. Creator of @MedHumChat. Views mine. Apr. 20, 2020 2 min read + Your Authors

I am an internal medicine resident in NYC giving it my all caring for patients with #covid_19. This is hard for all the reasons you would expect: it is traumatic, heartbreaking, exhausting.

But it’s also hard because of how we as residents are being treated. a thread… 1/12

I’m a bit nervous as I type this. As @nytimes reported, my employer told staff that speaking to the media without permission “will be subject to disciplinary action, including termination.” Twitter isn’t the media per se, but it is public. 2/ 

But speaking up is what I do and who I am. I speak up for my patients and I speak up for myself. I know that silence erodes my soul and betrays my commitment to love and justice in medicine. I’ve been silent on this issue for longer than I am comfortable with. 3/

we are working longer hours, caring for more patients, with less supervision than ever before. We are risking our own health. our normal educational program evaporated. Some of my colleagues petitioned for increased compensation 4/ 

How the top leadership responded to resident concerns was shockingly hurtful. An internal email chain was accidentally forward to all the internal medicine residents, which has since found its way to Reddit. 5/ 

a fellowship program director wanted names of his fellows who had signed the petition. A dept chair accused us of “focusing on making a few extra dollars” and said it’s “not becoming of a compassionate and caring physician” to request adequate compensation for our work. 6/

When leadership realized they had inadvertently shared these messages with us residents, the chairman of medicine told us over WebEx, “you’re seeing how the sausage is made.” No one apologized for the content of those messages. 7/

I can’t even express how deeply wounding it is to have my compassion, caring and maturity called into question by my leadership. I am trying to save patients’ lives. Patient after patient dies despite our efforts. I deliver the news as family members wail into the phone. 8/

Our top administrators take home millions while we trainees physically toil over our patients for near minimum wage. I am so, so tired of “professionalism” and now #healthcareheroes being used to demean and exploit us. 9/

As @danielleofri has said: “Health care is by no means perfect, but what good exists is because of individuals who strive to do the right thing. It is this very ethic that is being exploited every day to keep the enterprise afloat.” 10/ 

In the midst of this, my coresidents have been my rock. I have never loved them more. My chiefs and attendings have truly been there for me, making me feel seen, heard, and appreciated. The people on the ground in this struggle are incredible. I see you and I thank you. 11/

My deep hope is that from the wreckage of the #covid_19 pandemic we can rebuild healthcare so that it is equitable and just for patients and healthcare workers alike. It is time we put people before profits. 12/12

PS—if disagree with me, please share your comments publicly rather than sliding into my DMs. I put myself out there, you can too.

You can follow @colleenmfarrell.


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