Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx has been particularly hard-hit by Covid-19.
Responding to Governor Cuomo’s call for additional doctors to join the fight against Covid-19, Albert Einstein College of Medicine made news for being one of the first medical schools in the nation to call on fourth year medical students to join the front lines.
Dr. Michael Longo shares his experience volunteering for Covid-19 at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, the teaching hospital of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which has been particularly hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Being from New York, going to medical school in New York, and having all my immediate family in the tri-state area, I feel a strong connection to the area. And truthfully, I think I owe the community, who has helped me achieve what seemed like a pipe dream a couple years ago, quite a lot.
The exponential growth of Covid-19, the media coverage, and the necessary restrictions imposed on everyday life made me feel helpless, as I’m sure many other medical students felt. Therefore, when the opportunity to volunteer in a Covid-19 unit presented in late March, I was eager to contribute. I felt that I could help buttress, even if minimally, the initial onrush of Covid-19 admissions such that our clinical teams could equilibrate.
Most patients staffed by my team were younger Covid-19 patients with few comorbidities. And while a significant number were intubated or experienced an otherwise poor outcome, there are many more providers who can speak to the terrors of this disease with more detail and insight than myself.
Certainly, amid the persistent tension, and frequent “rapid response” calls, and my own emotional strife from this pandemic, it’s difficult to find a rose in the concrete. But on the ground, what was apparent to me, and what I think can be extrapolated across the country, was the extraordinary selflessness demonstrated by healthcare providers; the nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, and physicians who I’ve had the fortune of working with are inspirational. Furthermore, the outpouring of support we’ve received from the community is all the more humbling.
We are all playing for the same team, and this has never been more evident than during this pandemic.
Michael Longo, M.D.
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