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Joseph Burns, MD Joseph Burns, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Author

Cohen Children's Medical Center


Joseph Burns is a resident in pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York in Queens, NY. He is a native of Orlando, FL and is an alumnus of Stetson University. He is a 2019 graduate of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University in Miami, FL. His research interests include congenital heart disease with a focus on bicuspid aortic valve and Native American health. He is passionate about the arts and community engagement. He hopes to pursue a career in pediatric cardiology.




Living with Congenital Heart Disease Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Patient-Physician Reflection

Thinking back to January 2020, I recalled the whispers throughout the hospital of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States, mere minutes from my home institution. Aside from my perspective as a pediatrician, I was also forced to confront my own anxieties regarding exposure to this virus as an adult living with repaired congenital heart disease.

Our Acts of Freedom: A Physician-Advocate’s Perspective

On the morning of January 6, I awoke ecstatic to the news of Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff’s predicted wins in the Georgia run-off elections. To be frank, I have become hesitant to hope while inured by the near-daily attacks on civil rights by the Trump administration via executive orders and federal policies. Over the past four years, I witnessed with pride — but also fear — as community activists tirelessly organized to combat racist policies.

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.

Do Individuals from Low-Income Families Belong in Medicine? (Yes!)

Recently, several attending physicians sparked controversy on Twitter by implying that low-income medical students or trainees should not pursue careers in medicine. While these tweets have since been deleted, the systemic injustices that they echo still ring in the highest levels of modern medical education. As a medical trainee from an impoverished household, I have spent almost my entire post-secondary education and medical training as part of an invisible demographic.

It Is Right to Leave: Rank List Decisions as a Minoritized Medical Trainee

My fingers tense. Frozen not of my own accord. I want to do this, but I can’t. I need to do this, yet the anxiety grips at my mind and throat, stalling what should be an easy decision. As a Black, gay medical student in my fourth year, what I’m about to do has so many repercussions and permutations. So much so that I feel stuck, unable to be decisive when decisiveness is necessary.

The Unspoken

I have finally had enough. As a health care provider, COVID-19 brought about a lot of uncertainty and many changes in preparation for what might unfold. But over the last few months, the social unrest surrounding police brutality and the disproportionate occurrence of these cases towards people of color has added to my physical exhaustion by conflating it with both emotional and mental fatigue. After 32 years of tolerating systemic racism, it is finally my turn to say something.

Physician, Activist — Does One Preclude the Other?

When do you leap into the unknown and venture into the uncomfortable? Is it after methodical deliberation or is it much more abrupt, emboldened by a critical decision? Perhaps it is a deep drive within you, one that propels you forward in a way in which you cannot look back.

Ruth

I first met Ruth in the emergency department when I was a third-year medical student on my psychiatry rotation. She was an “elderly female with psychosis — medical workup negative.” My resident had received a page with a request for her admission and sent me to the ED to speak with her first.

Chase T.M. Anderson, MD, MS Chase T.M. Anderson, MD, MS (3 Posts)

Fellow Physician Contributing Author

University of California, San Francisco


Chase T.M. Anderson is a child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his B.S. and M.S. from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.D. from The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. And he completed his residency training in adult psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital.