COVID VIDEO SERIES: Comilla Sasson, MD

May 22, 2020

The experience of a physicians during the current COVID pandemic is not one-size-fits-all.  The experience of a physician in rural Oklahoma for example, is likely very different from that of a physician at the epicenter of the outbreak in New York City.  Listen to Comilla Sasson, MD - a physician from Aurora Colorado,- talk about her experiences in New York, why she went, and what she hopes to gain from the experience. 

The experience of a physicians during the current COVID pandemic is not one-size-fits-all.  The experience of a physician in rural Oklahoma for example, is likely very different from that of a physician at the epicenter of the outbreak in New York City. 

The number of COVID positive patients a physician sees, how much PPE they and their team have to protect themselves, the number of available beds in their hospital, the types of symptoms and the degree of illness of the patient population – all those thing can look very different and make for very different types of challenges. 

And yet it’s so important that physicians from all parts of the country get the same information and training so that no matter where people get sick they can be assured of getting the best possible CARE. 

Which is why I was so interested in talking with Dr. Comilla Sasson.  Dr. Sasson is an Emergency Room physician and Ph.D Researcher in Denver Colorado with an expertise in ventilator management.  However, I interviewed her in New York City, while she was spending several weeks volunteering to help relieve overworked doctors and train her colleagues there on ventilators. 

But what made our discussion fascinating, was that what was important to her was not the medical knowledge and training she was bringing TO the doctors in New York, but what she was bringing back --- The knowledge and expertise she gained  by being there, in the epicenter of this disease, and the experiences of being in hospitals with incredibly sick patients that were completely overwhelmed by COVID patients.  It was these experiences that she felt were so essential in shaping her personal role in this crisis as a caregiver, and as an expert and mentor to other physicians at home and around the country. Because that was how she felt she and her colleagues were going to make a real impact.