Internal Medicine

Amira Athanasios, MD Amira Athanasios, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

USF Morsani College of Medicine


Amira Athanasios is a first year resident in internal medicine and will be pursuing a career in mental health. She is a graduate of The George Washington University School of Medicine and Scripps College. She is passionate about the intersections of health, culture, race, and personal narrative. As such, she has written on public health, health equity, and narrative medicine.




Early Palliative Care and End-of-Life Planning as a Primary Preventative Intervention During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has drastically increased the number of critically ill and dying patients presenting for hospitalized management of dyspnea, acute respiratory failure and other serious complications. The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 has created unprecedented demands on all avenues of inpatient hospitalist medicine. One of the many services in high demand includes palliative care, with increased need for complex end of life planning.

Internalizing Medicine: Starting Intern Year in the Time of COVID

In my home city of Washington, D.C., citizens have taken the changes brought on by COVID-19 very seriously; social distancing, masking and frequent hand hygiene are now routine. These days, I am startled when I see the bottom half of someone’s face out in public. Our homes have become our sanctuaries. In the hospital, however, much of our work continues unabated. Orders are written, notes are signed, lab work is drawn, imaging is performed. Housestaff are on the front lines with nurses, respiratory therapists and patient care technicians taking care of the sickest patients day-in, day-out.

Facing the Consequences of the Pandemic as an Oncologist-in-Training

For the first time in history, a pandemic has shut down the entire globe. COVID-19 has affected our lives in many ways, including significantly impacting health care services. Many people, sensing an unseen danger looming in the air, have become increasingly afraid to visit their primary care physicians, and we are now discovering the catastrophic consequences of this delay.

Witness

This elderly yet jolly gentleman answers our unending questions about his physical health, but it is his question to us that makes me pause. Do I have time for a poem? This busy clinic day, I stop reflecting on why his heart stopped beating and instead what motivates his heart to beat in the first place.   

Can Empathy Be Taught, or Is It Innate?

In medical school, I was taught to sit at eye level when speaking to patients, ask how they would prefer to be addressed, and ask open-ended questions to allow them to express themselves. I learned to interject with “That must be really difficult for you,” or “I can only imagine how that makes you feel,” as a way to show empathy and foster better connection with patients.

Facing the Inevitable: A Resident Physician’s Perspective on the COVID-19 Pandemic

As I check in on my patients each morning, I wonder if some will unexpectedly decompensate and die over the coming weeks. I think about myself and my co-residents who are in the hospital all day swabbing patients for COVID-19 without adequate personal protective equipment. Many of my co-residents are on home isolation as a result of this exposure, waiting for their test results and praying that our government will step up and fund more mask production, or civilians will return the N95s they’ve hoarded, or the set of a TV medical drama will donate their props to us.

A View From the Frontline: COVID-19 and the UK Doctors’ Perspective

Earlier last week, one patient had been referred in from their family physician, and the onsite senior resident, Adam, had been the doctor to assess them. Symptoms were vague — generally unwell, off food, bit of a cough, possible headache. Viral swabs were taken, because pretty much anyone that had lately walked through the hospital door with even a suspicion of sepsis now had samples sent off.

Grace Hatton, MPharm, MBChB, DTM&H Grace Hatton, MPharm, MBChB, DTM&H (3 Posts)

Fellow Physician Contributing Writer

Junior Clinical Fellow in London


Grace is a UK-qualified physician and holds honours degrees in both pharmacy and medicine. She has worked as a research scientist in the fields of drug delivery, gastroenterology and hepatology; runs two organisations pertaining to sustainability in healthcare; and holds fellowships with both the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme and the Royal Society of Arts. In spite of all of this, she still can't afford London house prices. It's a mad world.