The burnout doctors and nurses and other medical professionals are experiencing from COVID is horrific and I seriously hope it leads to a wholesale revamping of the medical profession and specifically hospital work.
I don’t think there was any way to fully prevent severe trauma and burnout from a mass death event like COVID, but the way hospitals are set up to run sure didn’t help matters!!!
Hospital work — and specifically working the emergency department, which I’m most familiar with — is grueling. The hours are long and you’re exposed to completely brutal stuff over and over again. And in poorer hospitals, that’s compounded by lack of resources.
Even before COVID, one of the hospitals I volunteer at in a low income area of Brooklyn routinely had stretchers packing the hallways of the ED, because there weren’t enough rooms for all the patients. Witnessing that systemic failure wears on you.
Anyway people are always shocked when they hear about doctors being cruel or callous towards patients (even when it’s out of earshot) but like… the work environments they’re in breed that callousness. They’re set up to completely drain your reservoir of empathy.
And I’m not excusing that callous behavior, but I am saying: what if we set up the medical establishment to *encourage* empathy and prevent burnout? What if we stopped having ED doctors work crazy long hours? What if medical school were free so more people could become doctors?
What if all hospitals were well funded and staffed, and everyone had good health insurance so more people could tackle their health issues *before* they became emergencies?
A broken system breeds bad ends and our medical system is broken from stem to stern.

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More from @LuxAlptraum

15 Sep
You can’t say digital is just as valuable as print if you’re not paying digital writers the same as print writers. Full stop.
To be clear: I’ve never written for the New Yorker but I have done both print and digital for Wired, and print *was* more work, at least in my experience. But if that’s why print pays more we should say that.
Read 4 tweets
15 Sep
Did it hurt? When you learned that vegetables are also carbs?
I find it truly hilarious when people talk about their carb-free plate of broccoli… babe, it ain’t protein or fat
Anyway your body needs carbohydrates. The problem arises when you’re only consuming heavily processed carbohydrates with no fiber that your body breaks down super fast.
Read 4 tweets
15 Sep
Seems wrong that Republican governors can needlessly imperil the lives of their citizens and everyone goes, “Welp, what did you expect, their base will love it”
Like all the headlines I’m reading are wringing their hands about whether Democrats will hold on to Congress in 2022 when the opposition’s party platform is literally “die scum”
Love the two party system!!!!!!
Read 4 tweets
15 Sep
I know Millennials are supposed to be fragile babies who love telling the world about how traumatized we are, but one of the things that I have realized as I’ve gotten older is how *difficult* it has been for me to acknowledge that I have trauma.
It took until *this year* — twenty full years!! — for me to consider the possibility that I have trauma from 9/11. For twenty years I assumed that because I’d slept through the attacks and was completely safe, I couldn’t have trauma.
And because I have loved ones who witnessed the attacks, I didn’t want to center myself in the story by claiming trauma.

But that’s *ludicrous*. Of course I have trauma from that time. It was a horrific moment, even if I didn’t directly witness it. My city was scarred by it!
Read 10 tweets
15 Sep
Congrats to California on avoiding the nightmare of Governor Larry Elder
You know how people are always like “we’re a republic, not a democracy!”? California — and this recall election — is an example of direct democracy, and it is sadly prone to a significant amount of abuse.
It’s not just the recall: ballot initiatives have sometimes done great things for California, but they’ve also done horrible things too (hello Prop 8). It’s complicated!
Read 7 tweets
15 Sep
Wow if you guys think the Met Gala is bad you do *not* want to hear about this party called the Oscars
From what I’ve been told they get all the Hollywood elite together to — get this — party and network with one another and celebrate their industry with *gold statues*
I’m on the record (repeatedly!) as saying that awards shows are stupid so I can make this joke without looking like a hypocrite 😇
Read 7 tweets

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