On the news we’ve heard from exhausted, and often frustrated, front line medical workers who have had so much to deal with during the pandemic–lack of PPE,long hours in suffocating garb, a public skeptical of the seriousness of what they face every day and changing protocols as more information has come to light about the coronavirus. Even before the onset of COVID-19, many reports had surfaced about healthcare providers suffering from burnout, burdensome regulation, squabbles with government and insurance funders and a general disquiet over the career and calling they worked so hard to achieve. We turn to Dr. Cathy Hung, an oral surgeon, and author of ‘Pulling Wisdom: Filling Gaps of Cross-Cultural Communication for Healthcare Providers’, to help us assess the mindset of doctors, nurses, technicians and allied health professionals in a very difficult moment. We find that even those who have not faced the immediate impacts of the pandemic have seen their practices thrown into a state of flux. While we have seen quicker onset of some innovations in the face of this medical emergency, like tele-medicine, the fallout from this may well be reflected in the quantity of the workforce going forward and the impact that will have on the quality of our medical care.
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