In this year like no other, students, faculty, staff and alums from the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine were out in the field making a difference. From COVID-19 response to volunteer service to work related to health disparities and social justice, our community has been at the front lines. Throughout 2020, we’ve featured a wide range of voices and perspectives on our College blog. Take a look back at the past year in this collection of the top five blog posts from 2020.
April 10, 2020
Notes from the Front Line: COVID-19 in Vermont
By Katie Dolbec, M.D.’10
The whole world has changed in a few short weeks; both personal life and work life have taken on a completely different feel. What used to be rote, normal, hectic, and routine has become apprehensive and earnest, but also, to a certain extent, calm and serene. The pace of life has slowed, and the focus has narrowed. It is easy to forget that there is more to life and clinical practice than COVID-19. Read more
May 8, 2020
Larner Responds: Student Returns to ED as Nurse
By Jack Dubuque ‘21
Before entering medical school, I worked for eight years as a registered nurse in the emergency department at UVM Medical Center, finally hanging up my nursing scrubs at the start of my clerkship year at the Larner College of Medicine. I did not expect to return to my roots, but as the COVID-19 pandemic began to upend the lives of everyone in our community, I started to explore how I could help while continuing my medical education along with my classmates through remote instruction. After renewing my nursing license with the help of the Vermont State Board of Nursing, I started work in the UVM Medical Center Emergency Department within one week thanks to the fantastic management team. Read more
April 27, 2020
Notes from the Front Line: Flexibility and Courage
By Joseph Ravera, M.D.’10
Flexibility is a must for any emergency physician. We never know what the next ambulance is going to bring. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us into a new paradigm. Instead of seeing pediatric patients, I’m in an outdoor screening area trying to treat low-risk individuals who may have COVID -19 in an effort to keep the ED as sterile as possible. While I feel trained and up to the challenge, there is overwhelming anxiety not knowing exactly what to do or what will come. Read more.
July 16, 2020
Health and Racial Disparities in COVID-19
By Maria Mercedes Avila, Ph.D.
I present and teach about health equity and have so far reached more than 8,000 providers across 27 states and 150 organizations. My research shows that the biggest knowledge gaps for providers relate to history. Many aren’t familiar with some of the more appalling aspects of the history of this country, including the Eugenics movement, forced sterilizations, boarding schools for Native children, and unethical research with vulnerable groups. This lack of knowledge about the root causes of today’s health disparities means many people do not have a context for COVID-19’s racial disparities and the most recent horrific acts of violence against Black/African American communities. We have to know our own history to be able to understand the pain and trauma communities have endured for hundreds of years. Read more
April 20, 2020
Notes from the Front Line: The ICU in Flushing, Queens
By Hyunsoo No, M.D.’19
These past few weeks certainly has been unexpectedly tough. Not only with the unknowns of how to combat coronavirus and how to help our patients, but the sadness of seeing patient after patient pass and seeing their families torn apart. It’s been heart breaking, having to call families in the middle of the night to share unthinkable news, knowing they are unable to see their loved ones one last time due to visitation restrictions. Read more