They felt a sense of duty and pride volunteering to take care of the sickest patients with COVID-19. After all, this is why Valerie Vaughn, M.D., and Julie Barrett, M.D., became hospitalists. But when a fellow critical care doctor became one of their early COVID-19 patients, it opened their eyes to what they were really risking. They thought they’d be fine, because they’re young. But so is he. They know how to take precautions to keep themselves healthy. But so does he. And yet, he arrived to Michigan Medicine so sick he was being considered for ECMO. Caring for Detroit physician Eugene Vovchuk, M.D., was a lesson in both medicine and vulnerability for Vaughn, Barrett and their colleagues: from seeing him intubated and put on the highest ventilator setting, to writing his discharge papers and walking him down to his wife’s car once his condition improved.

 

 

Photo by Luis Melendez on Unsplash

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