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From Two Doctors Telling Covid-19 Patients' Stories

Michelle, Tennessee

Tell us a little about yourself!

I am working on this project with my colleague Thea. On a simple level, we are two doctors who have personally witnessed the impact coronavirus has had on the patients we care for every day. And on that personal level, we care deeply for our patients and for all the people whose lives have been changed drastically by the pandemic, and we hope to provide another channel through which their voices can reach others through this project in which we share the stories of those impacted by the pandemic.

Thea and I both have personal experience with narrative medicine and public outreach. As an example, I received first place in the 2016 national Gold-Hope Tang, MD Humanism in Medicine Essay Contest for “Your Soul is Not Concrete.” My medical essays, such as “Two Creams, Three Sugars” and “The Seventh Year,” have also been published in journals such as the Journal of General Internal Medicine and the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Thea, a graduate of Stanford University, has presented at TEDMED and MedicineX, and she studied journalism in New York City. We hope that our prior experience will help us have a strong foundation from which to share the stories we hear about the impact of the pandemic across the country.

Tell us about your #MakeWaves project.

Thea and I are two doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center whose work includes directly caring for coronavirus patients. We are dedicated to caring for our patients, but we want to do more than that.

We recently raised over $8,000 to thank hospital custodians through a GoFundMe fundraiser (featured in local and national news, links to the fundraiser and media coverage available on request). We are now launching another initiative to expand our outreach to help others who have been impacted by the pandemic.

We have created a website with a goal of sharing stories from those who have been affected by the pandemic. Our plan is to share at least one person's story each week. These individuals will be selected from all across the country to represent the impact of coronavirus everywhere it has struck. In addition to sharing their stories, we hope to provide each person with a "relief package" gift as a way of thanking and supporting them in this difficult time.

Any funding we receive will be used to both purchase essential items to include in the relief packages, as well as to cover shipping expenses for sending items to people across the country.

What inspired your project and what impact would you like to make?

Anyone has been impacted by the pandemic is someone whose story we are interested in sharing, as well as providing them with a "relief package" of items to help during the crisis.

Our work on the front lines as doctors caring for patients, including coronavirus patients, has allowed us to witness firsthand the impact that the pandemic has had on people - and we want to help. 

Your message to the community:

Our goal is to share stories from those who have been affected by the pandemic. The art of medicine is in story telling, and it is through story telling that we hope to find solace during these dark times.

Our plan is to share at least one person's story each week. These individuals will be selected from all across the country to represent the impact of coronavirus everywhere it has struck. In addition to sharing their stories, we hope to provide each person with a "relief package" gift as a way of thanking and supporting them in this difficult time. Please check us out!

Say hi to Thea and Michelle and learn more about From Two Doctors!

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