Residents Demand Changes Before Second Wave of COVID-19 Hits

June 10, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified June 11, 2020

Last week, resident physicians walked out of Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. Their action was part of a “unity break,” staged to bring attention to a list of demands they want met before the city’s next COVID-19 surge.

Oriana Ramirez, MD discusses her experience during the COVID outbreak in this article by Medscape, and why doctors need change to occur. When COVID-19 was at its peak in New York City, Ramirez worked 12-hour days, 6 days in a row, for 8 weeks straight. “I’d wake up at 4 in the morning, be at the hospital by 6 AM, home by 10 PM, cry in the shower, sleep, and repeat,” she said.

Ramirez, a third-year resident in internal medicine, didn’t mind the long hours so much as the fact that patients weren’t always getting the treatment they deserved. The hospital was short on funds and supplies. Yet when residents tried to bring specific problems to the attention of hospital administrators, they felt their concerns went unheard.

“The bottom line is we were alone,” she said. “At least, we felt that way.”

By May, 70% of the emergency medicine residents had tested positive for COVID-19. And most of the improvements in PPE came from GoFundMe campaigns, organized by the residents themselves, to procure masks and other equipment.

“Due to the culture of medicine, residents being willing to stand up so publicly is very rare,” said Lila Folders, organizer of the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU). “It shows what they’re willing to do to fight for their patients given the threat of COVID.”

Share this

Related Articles

                                Leave a Comment