These doctors have long-term covariates. Now they are pushing for better care.



More than a month after Kovid-19 became ill, Susan Weinstein was still experiencing shortness of breath and shortness of heartbeat.

When she went to see a pulmonologist in April, she said it was likely to be a concern and suggested trying Xanax.

“I said, ‘I don’t think, I’m a psychiatrist,” Dr. Says Winstein, a 42-year-old in Ardsley, NY, who recently ran as the New York City Marathon 2018.

Through social media, psychiatrist Susan Weinstein is connected to other doctors who are constantly experiencing Kovid symptoms.


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Susan Weinstein

Instead, Dr. via social media connections. Weinstein found about half a dozen other doctors who were experiencing the same thing. All had found Kovid and suffered from new and worsening symptoms weeks later, such as extreme fatigue, shortness of breath or memory coke. In many cases, they faced doubts from the doctors they were caring for. He posed questions on the Facebook Messenger group about physicians, symptoms, and possible treatments almost every day.

Dr. “We have the work of this small group of doctors who share stories about drugs that work and are not always traditional because of the lack of treatment options,” says Weinstein. “They helped me advocate for myself.”

Doctors and other health care professionals are heavily represented among thousands of Kovid patients who experience persistent symptoms following their acute illness. Such patients often refer to themselves as being long kovid or long-lived.

There is no reliable count of how many medical professionals have contracted Kovid, but they were among the hardest hit population in the spring. A July study in the Lancet, based on self-reported data, found that health care workers were at least three times more at risk of contracting Kovid-19.

One of the most frustrating experiences of long-time hull patients is finding medical care: doctors sometimes dismiss their symptoms or have no idea of ​​treatment. For doctors themselves who have long term symptoms, the experience is eye opening.

Jeffrey Siegelman, a 40-year-old associate professor of emergency medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, says, “It has completely changed my perspective. He received Kovid in early August and still has intense fatigue and frequent heartburn.” is.

Dr. Siegelman was supposed to return to work earlier this month, but says he is still not making any clear returns. Instead, he now works a few hours from home to the office.

Jeffrey Siegelman received Kovid in early August and was unable to return to work.


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Melissa Siegelman

“I think of patients I see as having symptoms that are very real and I cannot find any objective data to point me to a certain diagnosis,” Dr. Says Seagleman. “You often follow these patients with your primary care in the emergency department. I am sure it is easier for patients to feel like they have been brushed. I was very much needed even if I am not getting treatment. I think I will be more sensitive to go further. ”

Some doctors with prolonged Kovid symptoms are turning to each other for help and advocating for greater awareness and better treatment.

Some are organizing in a formal way. In the United Kingdom, a group of doctors who are long-time Kovid patients are writing letters in medical journals and lobbying the government.

In a recent letter, “From doctors as patients: a manifesto for dealing with concomitant symptoms of Kovid-19,” in the medical journal BMJ, 39 doctors noted longer Kovid and better monitoring of clinical services and research Asked for

Several doctors linked to a Facebook group that today has around 500 members. “As the first wave subsided, it emerged that a group of us were still very unwell,” said Ginevra Reid, a psychiatrist in Bristol, UK, who is one of the group’s administrators. “It became clear that this group of doctors was willing to share their experiences.”

One of its members and one of the authors of the BMJ letter is Jake Suet, a 32-year-old anesthetist and intensive care doctor in Kings Lynn, 100 miles north of London.

Dr. Suet says he first got symptoms of Kovid in March. “I’ve come into my best shape in my entire life,” he says of his former Kovid’s self.

Jake Suet is one of a group of doctors who have recently published a paper in the medical journal BMJ asking for longer covariates and more clinical services and better monitoring of research.


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Dr. Jake Sut

He did not require hospitalization, but says he had a shortness of breath. He was not able to conduct a diagnostic test until four weeks later, which was surprisingly not negative, but he was given a clinical diagnosis by his physician.

He feels that he is slowly improving, but is not sure if he is just adapting to a new normal or if he is actually getting better. “I still feel short of breath very easily, I’m still having chest pains, I’m still in pain,” Dr. Says Suet. “I still have difficulty thinking very clearly.”

He, like many, has been unable to return to work. He has tried twice but was suffering from shortness of breath and chest pain. “I know of a couple who have tried and none of us have succeeded,” Dr. Says Suet.

Dr. Suet says that many doctors had challenging experiences to care for themselves. “I can definitely see why it should be a nightmare for patients with these types of conditions because it is hard to show evidence of how sick you are feeling. It’s very challenging.

Annie S. Lee, a 40-year-old child psychiatrist at NYU Langone Health and director of the Children’s Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program at Belvet Hospital Center in Manhattan, started the informal Facebook messenger group, which Dr. This is after writing about his battle with Weinstein. Kovid in May.

Dr. Lee had to take a leave of absence in the spring to focus on his recovery and was delayed in starting a new job.

Child psychiatrist Annie S. Lee started a Facebook messenger support group with six other doctors even months after receiving Kovid-19.


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Dr. Shilpa agraharkar

She says she still has a lot of fatigue, a bad headache, and muscle aches. The way she is habituated and cannot use repeated sore throat and some brain fog. “Multitasking is something that I prized myself for before Kovid and now it’s a lot more challenging,” she says.

The informal support group helped in the dark times, she says. “I think it’s shared, ‘You’re not alone.” not you.”

They check up about each other once a week.

“We were cheering each other up there,” she says. “It was very encouraging, a lot of information exchange. More importantly, it was a safe place that we knew we were not going to be gaslighted or dismissed. ”

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Write Sumati Reddy at [email protected]

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