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SCO has at least two 2019 graduates, Drs. Shelby Kruse and Laila Tawfik, who are currently completing their residencies in a New York City hospital. In this report sent over the weekend, Dr. Tawfik writes about the challenges and remarkable experience that they've been encountering:
"Thankfully, we're still doing okay and just taking it one day at a time. Things have definitely been crazy here, and New York comes with its own set of challenges in terms of the virus. As optometry residents in a hospital setting, we're considered essential and we're required to go in each day in case of ocular emergencies.
"It's definitely been a learning curve adjusting to the new normal for a while. For our routine patients, we've switched to telemedicine for the time being, and the hospital is working diligently to implement video calls for our patients. We've created makeshift breath guards (pictured above) for when we do see patients, and of course, we wear masks and gloves while examining them.
"When we're on call for emergency patients, we can now triage over the phone in terms of severity, whereas previously we were required to go in for every call. Nurses check our temperature, once, sometimes twice, per day while we're at work to ensure we're healthy enough to be there.
"Finally, the family medicine floors of our hospital have understandably been overwhelmed with COVID patients. They've called upon us for backup to help wherever we can, so one day per week we're each 'on call' for the family medicine floors whenever they need additional help.
"As I mentioned, living in New York presents with its own set of challenges due to the density of the city. Because so many people rely on public transportation to get around, it's virtually impossible to social distance. Here's some photos (pictured below) I took on my way to work.
"We've been doing our best to shelter in place whenever we're not working or on call. It's very strange to see the city that never sleeps suddenly fall quiet."
Let's all thank Drs. Tawfik and Kruse for helping out in the epicenter of America's COVID outbreak and keep them in our thoughts and prayers for their continued safety!