It is an understatement to say that COVID-19 has affected us. COVID-19 has disrupted every thread of the fabric of our lives, both personally and professionally in how we live, work, play and literally breathe.
During a recent interview about COVID-19, I was asked whether there was anything of which I was proud. I had no hesitation in stating I am very proud of the way our physicians have stepped up to work with other professionals and put their lives on the line and support the care needs of our patients, whether they are related to COVID-19 or other health-related concerns.
Despite the fact that at times you may feel fearful, overwhelmed, or fatigued to the core, you continue to serve the public and your patients. However, despite many physicians' best attempts at remaining resilient, what has transpired over the successive waves, especially during this 4th wave, has threatened the core of that resilience. We were stretched before COVID-19. Please ensure you take care of yourself and your families and watch out for your colleagues.
Many physicians have voiced their concerns that they feel unsupported, disrespected or frankly ignored by the "system". We are all part of that "system", and while we may be disappointed at what is occurring or not occurring during this fourth wave, we must remain calm and focused on what we do best as physicians. Exercise every opportunity to provide the best care you can despite the challenging circumstances and continue to educate the uninformed or misinformed on the value of masking, physical distancing, limiting group sizes and the importance of vaccinations. These measures have all proven their worth. Your professional relationship with your patients affords you the best chance to relay important scientific information in a non-judgemental way; that will assist them to make informed decisions to protect themselves, their families and our communities.
We at the College are trying to support you the best we can. We previously reported on all the actions taken to date to provide support to our registrants, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Ministry and the College of Medicine, while concurrently fulfilling our mandate to protect the public. The following links outline many of the actions taken.
Guidance Letters from the Registrar's Office
2020 Annual Report
DocTalk 2020, Issue 2
It is hard to understand why certain decisions have been taken and others have not. However, it is imperative we are cognizant of our respective roles and continue to support each other by remaining courteous and respectful in all our interactions, despite our frustrations. The end game is the same – blunt the COVID-19 curve by any means possible, avoid unnecessary COVID-19-related deaths, and protect our children and others who are vulnerable and/or unable to be vaccinated.
Physicians have a long history of accepting tough leadership roles when there is a need. There continues to be a need. Thank you again for performing your work under considerable duress, especially in the absence of certain Public Health Orders that many of us feel would continue to be beneficial in our response to COVID-19. I am reminded of the quote attributed to Margaret Mead:
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
You are one of these “thoughtful, committed citizens” who can effect social change through your passion and expertise. Your efforts in mitigating the impact of COVID-19 in all that you do is much appreciated.