Doctors signed up to help, not to be abandoned

Dr. Brian Moench wrote an Op Ed for the Salt Lake Tribune discussing what he expected when he became a doctor, and it was not a complete lack of reasonable oversight from our administration during a global public health crisis. Read part of the Op Ed below.

If we don’t immediately adopt a “shelter in place” order in the state of Utah, and nationally, our worst victims will be our own health care workers. And when that happens, when the public gets sick, who will be there to take care of them when they rush to the hospital? More than 160 hospital workers have already tested positive in Boston, hardly the epicenter of the pandemic. “Shelter in place” now! 

By Brian Moench | Special to The Tribune 3/26/2020

When I embarked on a career in medicine in 1973, I considered it a privilege. But I also knew I would be committing myself to long hours away from my family, just like my father…

My classmates and I knew we would spend many “all-nighters” taking care of sick patients. We knew the drama and sleep deprivation would make our blood levels of stress and inflammatory hormones skyrocket, posing a chronic health and psychological risk of its own. But it came with the job we signed up for...

But here’s what I didn’t sign up for. I didn’t sign up to take care of patients with a deadly infection, far more contagious than HIV, without the most basic tools of self protection — gloves, goggles, masks and gowns — standard medical equipment since well before World War I. I didn’t sign up to be told by the CDC that I should show up to work with a bandana over my face if my hospital is out of masks.

I didn’t sign up to watch our president hypnotize the country into “reality distancing,” lying about how anyone could get tested and equating the crisis with car accidents. I didn’t sign up to hear his hunches about vaccines and miracle cures that don’t exist, “beautiful,” life-saving ventilators that had not been manufactured, and ships loaded with supplies to the rescue that would not arrive.

I didn’t sign up to listen to a commander-in-chief dismiss his own responsibility because he’s “not a shipping clerk,” that the buck stops everywhere but at his desk, and who believes his mismanagement of this nightmare is worthy of a “ten out of ten.

I didn’t sign up for protocols from our scientific agencies to be warped and filtered by White House lackeys whose top priority was saving the political “nine lives” of one dear leader, instead of the literal lives of 330 million people. I didn’t sign up to help the president drag the country into “empathy distancing,” playing Russian roulette with the elderly and infirm because he only values human life as it affects the stock market.

Read full article here.