OpEds and Advocacy

OpEds and Advocacy

I am proud to have had the opportunity to collaborate on this OpEd titled “We Are Worried That Hospital COVID-19 Data No Longer Goes To The Apolitical CDC” published in USA Today yesterday morning! 18 doctors and one nurse practitioner from my hospital literally co-wrote this on a Google Doc over a 48-hour period as part of The OpEd Project (which rocks, BTW).

If you don’t feel like reading the whole piece, fine, but here is the crux of the argument:

“Migrating the responsibility of any data collection to HHS presents a serious conflict of interest. The department is led by former drug industry executive Alex Azar and the flow of information from the department is controlled by former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo, who now acts as an Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs. In stark contrast to the CDC, which has long been an independent, apolitical agency with trusted protocols for emergent infections, HHS has a recent track record of promoting conservative political causes.

We aren’t the only concerned parties: Check out this excellent editorial in Nature from July 28 on the topic, and Astrophysicist Jeffrey Hester’s video suggesting that the data is already being massaged.

I’m just a diehard fan of data transparency and feel strongly that good old-fashioned evidence should be guiding our decision making. I feel so strongly about this, I work and parent and then come home and write, write, write. It would be so much easier if I didn’t give a shit, and could just have a beer in front of the television.

But right now, the world needs doctors who speak up for the truth and the facts. Luckily, everyone in our OpEd Project Group feels the same way. My peeps have created some amazing advocacy writing and evidence-based pieces, many COVID-19 related, and all since March 2020:

Dan Horn MD, also in yesterday’s USA Today Opinion, prescribes masks for us all.

Dallas Ducar, psychiatric nurse practitioner and researcher, writes about transgender health and proposed legislation that would directly harm patients in the Tennessean. She also published this strong piece about the trauma gender diverse people suffer at the hands of primary care providers who haven’t been trained to address gender identity, in Visible.

Hemal Sampat warned us about how COVID-19 is a threat to hospital medicine in Kevin MD. Then he wrote a beautiful post about the true nature of patriotism, and why the left needs to reclaim it, in Visible.

Michael Bierer MD advocates for physician advocacy in this heartfelt essay for the Boston Globe.

Andrea Reilly MD’s patient asked for a medical excuse not to wear a mask, which promoted this excellent post about trauma-informed care in KevinMD.

Carolina Abuelo MD writes about the intersection of two pandemics: COVID-19 and Opioid Use Disorder, for Huffpost.

Audrey Provenzano MD MPH explains how poor public policy has allowed the deaths of the elderly and vulnerable due to COVID-19 in Doximity OpMed.

Li Tso MD penned this personal piece about how he changed his mind about Medicare for All in The Hill, and it’s been shared almost 6000 times!

Amy Wheeler MD writes about how telemedicine is actually boosting the doctor-patient relationship in KevinMD, but also about how some patients yearn for the good old days of face-to-face office visits in STAT.

Marya Cohen MD MPH shared her experience and suggestions on incorporating medical students into clinical care in the era of COVID-19 in KevinMD.

Sejal Hathi MD MBA started a public-health themed Apple podcast called Civic Rx, and even got an interview with Dr. Fauci himself!

Sarah Matathia MD MPH shared what it’s like to practice Family Medicine in the era of COVID-19 in Doximity OpMed.

Dan Horn MD made the New York Times when he wrote about how to solve the potential ventilator shortage, back in March when we were worried we’d be the next Italy.

And I push doctors to share the science and their front-line experience to help fight COVID-19 in Doximity OpMed.

Whew! I may have missed some of my colleague’s work (and if I did, I’ll edit this post in order to highlight them), but there’s enough amazing writing in there to keep you reading on the beach all day. Enjoy– and stay healthy!

We work all day, then write all night…


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