New York City was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the early Spring of 2020. At Columbia-NYP, the Internal Medicine residents rose to the occasion with grace, courage and grit. Our residents cared for a vastly expanded volume of patients, delivering care across the spectrum of disease severity from outpatient telemedicine to inpatient intensive care. This article in Academic Medicine outlines the specifics of our program’s response, showing that our residents took primary responsibility for caring for the majority of critically ill SARS-CoV-2 positive patients at Milstein and The Allen. We could not possibly be prouder of the way our residents responded in the City’s time of need. To call their actions heroic is not an exaggeration.
Since the initial surge, in further phases of the pandemic we have made it a priority to preserve the traditional broad-based clinical experiences of our residents. Faculty stepped up to take care of the additional volume of patients such that none of our residents were redeployed or had any disruptions to their planned rotations.
Our residents are now experts in the treatment and care of SARS-CoV-2 affected patients. That expertise, combined with advancements in the hospital’s facilities with increased step down and negative pressure capacity, enormous stockpiles of PPE and ventilators, and a phase-by-phase plan to ensure equal distribution of work and focus on well-being makes us prepared and confident that we can handle any surge.