WILL THIS BE HISTORY?
Urology in the Time of COVID-19
"During COVID, I’m often leaving the hospital (if I even bother to show up) in an existential crisis. Is this what 7 years of training and 10 years of practice have led to? An inconsequential expertise?"
"Let’s finally, and fully, embrace technology in medicine, not just for billing purposes, but for its ability to free us from the mundane and from the mind-numbing churn of the medical industrial complex. Let’s finally try to fix physician burnout by not accepting a return to business as usual."
- Bradley A. Erickson, MD, MS
"From the urology perspective, as there are now national guidelines about this in terms of decreasing the amount of elective procedures, so we've seen, virtually, a virtual shut-down of the cases in urology, which would be benign urologic cases. And only the most urgent cases, immediate cancer cases, torsion, stones, sepsis, things like that, emergency stents that need to be put in. And it's really cut down in virtually all practices, though some practices actually have shut down completely."
"It's been heartening, in a certain sense, to see the worldwide community working together, for the most part, trying to come up with cures."
"And I think the message for us, in our world of urology, how important is this gonna be for us to have[...]to collaborate. It's very, very important to collaborate and communicate, because we will be stronger when all our aspects, all our verticals within the research community, our basic scientists, our translational scientists, our clinical researchers, our behavioral scientists, population scientists all work together to try to come up with really the best type of this discovery together."
-Steven Kaplan, MD
"Mainly right now, that role [of urologists in the pandemic] has been to support what is needed, to support our hospitals' capacity to address the sort of coming increase in patients arriving at our hospital doorsteps. And so, I think, the main role has been to participate in conserving personal protective equipment, conserving hospital capacity, and that's mainly been via cancelling many of our more elective cases."
"I also know that this is a threat to a lot of urologists, self-employed urologists across the country because you have a lot of overhead and we're in a period where we're not seeing a lot of revenue come in because of clinical restrictions. And so it's gonna be a really challenging time for all of us, so we have to support as best we can."
-John Gore, MD
"[In London, Ontario, Canada] we've got a large research institution, research associated facility, and that essentially closed down. The research has ground to a halt. The clinical trials and everything else had been completely disrupted and halted and stopped and so it's really affecting the progress of research as well."
"Now this week we are just about completely down to emergency cases only. So for us in urology, that's trauma, testicular torsion, sepsis, say from an obstructing kidney stone, and just a handful of cancer cases where it's a life and death situation[…]And deferring all that surgery is going to create a huge backlog, of course, whenever when the time comes, let's hope and pray it soon that we emerge from this, there's gonna be a tremendous backlog, of course, of surgical cases to do."
"So it's incredible how the world has changed. We're in, really, a completely different world now. And we hear the word unprecedented a lot and that's absolutely true. And we are in an unprecedented time here. Eventually, we'll emerge from this, of course. I think the global community is coming together in the struggle. Urology is already a very tight-knit community around the world and I think this will serve to bring us even closer together for the missions that we have of patient care and of teaching and research. So we'll look, of course, for some positive outcome out of all of this….this brings out the best in people. We've got a common struggle going on here for humanity, not just urology, obviously. It is bringing people together."
-John Denstedt, MD
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