The Enemy Was Fear

By Ryan Greiner, MD | Minnesota

Leading a group of providers on the frontlines of COVID became more than just about the clinical work, it became about their emotional and psychological wellbeing as well. Stress tends to reveal our weaknesses and spotlights where our growth opportunities are. We embraced that as a group. We talked, we grieved together, we focused on ensuring good sleep, exercise, good nutrition, avoidance of alcohol, and together we stressed that the enemy was not COVID but was actually fear. Fear would blunt our attention and focus, leading to mistakes and together we pledged to step up and not step out.

I’ve never been more proud of working for and with the group of people who are caring for the patients affected by COVID. Proud to say that none of my providers acquired COVID up to this point. They have and continue to perform admirably. I also could not be more proud of the work of the Twin Cities Medical Society, which has stepped up with mental health support programs for physicians and have expanded engagement in the critical end-of-life conversations through honoring choices, and continued to engage physicians, medical students and residents in the work we’ve always done.

I certainly hope that we never get into a situation as dire as some of the places we’ve seen in the United States but life is about meeting challenges and embracing change and learning to grow to become part of something more meaningful. My hope is that the lessons we are learning from this tragic disease will not be lost once life returns to normal.

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