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New Blog Featuring Lisa Sanders, MD, Addresses Long COVID Struggles Seen on the Front Lines

April 15, 2024

Lisa Sanders, MD, professor of medicine (general medicne) at Yale School of Medicine, who is the author of the New York Times Magazine's popular "Diagnosis" column and Netflix series, is editing a new blog hosted by the Yale Medicine website titled "Long COVID Dispatches from the Front Lines."

Sanders, an internist known for her writings on diagnosis, and as the inspiration of and adviser to the TV show "House, M.D.," is trying to crack the Long COVID code in her latest venture — "Long COVID Dispatches from the Front Lines," which will appear every other week. Each post explores a different topic chosen by Sanders and is written primarily by medical students from Yale School of Medicine. The blog posts discuss medical papers about the condition and Sanders' take on where the findings fit into the big, emerging picture of the condition. Every blog includes a final insight from Sanders, who is known for her commitment to unraveling medical mysteries.

Sanders, who sees patients at Yale New Haven Health's Multidisciplinary Long COVID Care Center, says most have had extensive testing even before they arrive, and far too often — when all the tests are normal — the patients, and all too often their doctors as well, worry that the symptoms are "all in their head."

"One of our first tasks in our clinic is to reassure patients that many parts of Long COVID don't show up on tests," Sanders says. "We don't know enough about the cause of many of these symptoms to create a test for them. The problem is not with the patient with the symptoms but of the science surrounding them."

If any good can come out of the pandemic, she says, it will be a better understanding of Long COVID and many of the other post-acute infection syndromes that have existed as long as the infections themselves. Post-acute infection syndromes are finally having their moment because the Long COVID patient cohort is "large enough and loud enough." What's learned is "likely to help us with the next infection that leaves a lasting mark on at least some of those it touches," Sanders says.

Read the first installment of "Long COVID Dispatches from the Front Lines" here.

Submitted by Robert Forman on April 16, 2024