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Five Easy Pieces (of Advice)

October 25, 2020
by Mark David Siegel

Hi everyone,

This morning I’m wedged between a COVID staffing conundrum and residency application reviews, so I’ll just share five easy pieces of advice:

  1. Protect yourself: Wear a mask. Always. Ask your patients to wear a mask; but since some can’t or won’t, wear a face shield too. Always.
  2. Eat safely: Connecticut still allows indoor dining, but with COVID rebounding, this rule seems unsafe. Order takeout or eat outdoors. This week, we’ll follow up with more options for spreading out at lunchtime.
  3. If you’re sick, stay home: Yes, call-outs stress the backup system, but spreading infection stresses it more. More importantly, we need you to get well. Call the chiefs, put your jammies back on, stream Netflix.
  4. Take care of yourself: Especially now. Eat, sleep, exercise, and socialize (safely). Get your flu shot.
  5. Hold each other accountable, gently: If a friend’s mask slips beneath their nose, ask them to pull it back up. If someone gets too close, step back. We all make mistakes sometimes, so nix the shaming. Gentle reminders work better. And better yet, be a mask wearing, social distancing superstar. Others will follow your lead.

Finally, after a hard week when we had fewer residents than we needed to cover our services, some special thanks are in order: to Department and GME leadership for prioritizing resident safety; to the Chiefs for their scheduling ingenuity and for staying cool under fire; to the hospitalists, APPs, teaching attendings, and fellows who stepped up to cover for our residents; and, most of all, to the best residents in the world for your flexibility, good will, offers to help, and your strength and resilience in the face of this challenge. What a team.

Stay well, everyone. I’ve got a thousand applications to review today…


Submitted by Mark David Siegel on October 25, 2020