Pandemic and Medical Practices


Day 237: Stay Safe Minnesota

Coronavirus pandemic stress is reportedly forcing many private medical practioners and nurses to quit.

In CBS News, reporter Megan Cerullo writes: “Veteran emergency medical technicians and paramedics have spent decades intubating patients and performing many other medical procedures in cramped ambulances. Now, a growing number of EMS workers are exiting the field for good. The reason: COVID-19 makes the job too dangerous.”

“A review by the Kaiser Health News service and The Associated Press finds at least 49 state and local public health leaders have resigned, retired or been fired since April across 23 states. The list has grown by more than 20 people since the AP and KHN started keeping track in June.”

From Modern Healthcare

Former CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) director Dr. Tom Frieden called the numbers stunning and reflecting burnout from the pandemic stress. The Associated Press writes in MPR News that some nurses are worrying about working with sick colleagues in North Dakota.

“It’s going to make you question every time you want to sit down and grab a five-minute snack with one of your co-workers. You’re always going to think, ‘Am I 6 feet away from them? Am I safe? Am I not?’ [..] I know nurses who leave work every day and cry in their car before they go home to see their kids. I don’t know how much more we can take.”

Tessa Johnson, president of the state’s Emergency Nurses Association (source: MPR News)

Medical Practices are Being Closed

In the Star Tribune, Reed Abelson writes that coronavirus pandemic is forcing many doctors to quit their jobs as a result ‘thousands of medical practices have closed in recent months’. “Two years ago, Dr. Kelly McGregory opened her own pediatric practice just outside Minneapolis, where she could spend as much time as she wanted with patients and parents could get all of their questions answered. But just as her practice was beginning to thrive, the coronavirus hit the United States and began spreading across the country. [She] made the difficult decision to close her practice in August.”

“Many other doctors are also calling it quits. Thousands of medical practices have closed during the pandemic, according to a July survey of 3,500 doctors by the Physicians Foundation, a nonprofit group. About 8% of the doctors reported closing their offices in recent months, which the foundation estimated could equal some 16,000 practices. Another 4% said they planned to shutter within the next year.”

From the Star Tribune

“The coronavirus crisis has amplified problems that doctors were already facing, whether they own their practice or are employed” adds Abelson in the Tribune.

USA Today’s Adrianna Rodriguez writes in a recent headline ‘independent medical practices can’t afford to stay open during COVID-19 pandemic‘. “Smaller physician practices … are struggling to stay open during the public health crisis as the coronavirus continues to strain the American health care system. A survey issued by the American Medical Association late last month found the average revenue in medical practices has dropped by 32%. Revenue reductions were 50% or greater for nearly 1 out of 5 physicians, according to the nationally representative survey of 3,500 physicians, administered from mid-July through August.”

Coronavirus Pandemic Watch

According to the MDH latest tally (as of Nov 18, 11 a.m.) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 242,043 (out of 3,543,671 tested) with 3,010 deaths. According to Johns Hopkins database (as of Nov 18, 2:25 a.m.) there are 11,441,946 confirmed covid19 infection with 249,733 deaths. Globally the covid19 virus has infected 56,024,130 with 1,345,639 deaths.