COVID-19 certainly caught us all off guard. I just started my own solo retina practice three months ago, and it was growing exponentially.
My referral sources started to dry up. All of the optometrists had closed shop since they mostly deal with refractions and basic eye care. I was concerned at first, but I got over all that pretty quickly and realized how serious this virus is, not just to me and my business but to society as a whole.
The Baylor hospital system sent an email to all physicians asking them to sign on a volunteer list in case they needed us to help in the hospitals. My parents told me not to do it, but I told them that if the situation is dire enough that they need specialists to come work inpatient, then the health care system is about to collapse, and we were all in this together.
Luckily it didn’t come to do that. But I didn’t want to stay home and run from the fight. These last few weeks, I have driven to every ER and urgent care in north Dallas and met with multiple doctors, giving them my number for any consults they may have. Every single one of them took me up on the offer and started sending patients my way so they could focus their efforts on COVID-19.
During these times of social isolation, I had time to catch up with many friends from medical school and intern year that were on the front lines fighting the virus. I let them know how much we all appreciate their efforts. They are beyond dignified, and I am proud to share a profession with them. They truly are the MVPs, I’m just happy I was there for the assist.
About the author: Mahdi Rostamizadeh, MD is a retina specialist at Lone Star Eye Specialists PA in Frisco, Texas. He is also a member of the Academy’s YO Advocacy subcommittee.