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Oncologists Are Struggling to Treat Cancer Patients Amid the Pandemic

Dr. Allyson Ocean
How has life changed for oncologists during the COVID-19 pandemic, as they and their patients risk getting this illness?

Let’s Win Scientific Advisory Board Chair and Co-founder Dr. Allyson Ocean, a medical oncologist at Weill Cornell Medical Center, explains what life is like for her and her colleagues in the epicenter of the pandemic in New York City.

In just a few short weeks, this pandemic has completely changed my practice. I am still seeing patients two to three days a week in my outpatient oncology clinic. I have not been deployed to the Emergency Room, but I think the call may come in any day now.

Before people started staying home, our office was much busier. People were coming in with many family members, but we soon realized that we had to limit patient traffic in order to contain this virus. Many of my patients had cold symptoms that could have been confused with the symptoms of the virus. It was frightening — mostly because I didn’t know how to proceed. Should I wear a mask? Should I find an N95? But from where? Should I wear a gown? I already was washing my hands excessively, but it just didn’t feel like enough.

Read the entire essay at Katie Couric’s Wake-Up Call.


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