Vital Times 2021 - 78

pager 24/7 and we experienced a tremendous amount
of airway emergencies.
In a state as large as California, there is
tremendous demographic diversity amongst
patient populations, spanning race and
ethnicity, socioeconomic status, political
views, chronic disease burden, and more.
Thus, it is no surprise that residents in
different regions faced unique sets of
challenges presented by the spread of the
pandemic in their communities.
Dr. Landon: During one point in the pandemic, San
Bernardino County was at the forefront of COVID-19
cases per capita. We saw many patients in the lower
socioeconomic spectrum. As the only tertiary care and
level 1 trauma center in our region, the surge placed a
significant strain on our resources. At times during the
pandemic, we received patients from other hospitals who
were either overwhelmed or did not have the resources to
treat such critical patients.
Dr. Nosrat: We take care of a fair number of patients
with traumatic injuries related to the border wall,
and several of these patients have COVID as well as
a language barrier with English-speaking staff. It is
challenging to provide high-quality care in a setting with
isolation precautions and a language barrier, but it is an
opportunity to practice compassion and to get creative in
ways we connect with our patients.
Dr. Morris: Our patient population is perhaps an outlier
given the proportion of individuals in Silicon Valley that
are well-insured and have had longstanding access to
preventative care. Perhaps even more important was a
novel privilege for many in the community - the ability
to work from home and support one's family while
sheltering in place. This meant that we were fortunate
to be spared from some of the worst surges seen in
other regions, which in turn gave us the ability to take in
countless transfers from many corners of the state.
Dr. Salazar: Harbor-UCLA is a county institution and a
safety net hospital... our patient population is of lower
socioeconomic status and patients often present late
in their disease course with multiple comorbidities.
We experienced an astronomical surge and we were
challenged to meet the demand. The hospital ICU
capacity was stretched to 200% of its normal capacity.
Additionally, many health care workers became infected,
which placed an enormous stress on the hospital system
as staffing was stretched very thin.
A common concern early in the pandemic
was how redeployment of residents might
affect their overall training. Given the finite
nature of residency, the interruption from
COVID-19 posed new uncertainties, but a year
later it appears that programs across the state
succeeded in balancing their missions of
patient care and clinical training.
Dr. Morris: Our outgoing chief residents Drs. Justin Ward,
Alix Baycroft, and Mike Tien (aka " JAM " ) worked tirelessly
to reduce the impact on residents' training. The constant
flux of patient volumes meant frequent rearrangements
in surge teams and elective rotation staffing, and the
chiefs worked hard to advocate for our needs and make
changes as quickly and as equitably as possible. With
nearly a hundred trainees in our program, this was a
monumental undertaking.
Dr. Salazar: The residency program preserved all
required ACGME rotations and gave priority to the CA-3
residents so that they could fulfill rotations necessary
to meet graduation requirements. Fortunately, CA-3
residents were still able to meet their ACGME minimum
case numbers and rotation requirements. Although
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