American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Wake Forest Surgeon Discusses Life in the Time of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to feelings of fear, anger, and helplessness, according to Samuel P. Carmichael II, MD, MS, acute care surgeon, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC. In a brief report from the front lines, Dr. Carmichael suggests that, with up to 1 million projected deaths in the U.S., the virus has changed how surgeons and other health care professionals provide care. Rotating schedules decreased time in the hospital, the provision of only urgent or emergent procedures, and transfer of surgeons to medical critical care units are just some of the adjustments U.S. hospitals have made.

He notes the importance of collaboration, pointing to a recent emergent cesarean section requiring surgical acute care that ended with a healthy birth. “There is light to be seen in the darkness of times and war and plague,” he says, asking that surgeons keep acting on their shared humanity and goodwill.