Being A Disabled Doctor In The Pandemic

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When I went to medical school, I trained for many things. I expected to work in a wide range of settings, from the GP surgery to brain surgery, in the UK and abroad. To a large extent, we are trained to manage the ‘unexpected’, we’re taught to find patterns in the chaos, to make thorough, timely assessments, and formulate plans in challenging environments. But very little training, however thorough, could have prepared me for everything I would face working during coronavirus.

In many ways, I am very lucky. I’m currently based in a ‘recovery hub’ for older patients who have been discharged from hospital but need some rehabilitation or a care package starting before they are able to go home. But as we all know, COVID-19 is now everywhere, with many of those who have it appearing to have no symptoms at all. So even my lovely community facility is not immune, and I am spending much of my day wearing a facemask, visor over my glasses, apron and gloves. My patients aren’t able to have visitors, so if and when they become unwell, I have to make difficult phone calls to loved ones to explain the situation and the options we may or may not have.


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