Our excitement with getting back to normal can’t cover up how strange the journey back there will be

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I’m writing weekly for Medium about my experiences as an emergency medicine doctor during the Covid-19 pandemic. You can read my previous posts on vaccine inequities, the variants, and more, here.

The summer is starting to look spectacular. The White House recently announced the U.S. will have enough vaccines by…


You won’t remember the pandemic. There are some things you should know.

You hiking in the woods—March 2021

You’ve lived half your life inside this pandemic. But you will have no memory of any of this. How I envy you.

It’ll be a long time before you’ll know what a virus is or how much this past year upended our lives. …


A doctor’s tips

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Whenever someone learns I’m an emergency room physician, they reflexively ask ‘What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen?’ I get it — television shows like the eponymous ‘E.R.’ depict my job as full of lust, gore, and foreign objects in unexpected places.

I can humor you with stories all day…


Writing every week wasn’t something that came easy to me. This is how I did it.

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I don’t consider myself a writer. As an emergency room doctor, I’m more at ease treating heart attacks than putting words on a page.

Yet I’ve published a new piece nearly every week for the past six months. When I first started writing on Medium, my intention was to translate…


If you’re fully vaccinated, there’s no indication you need a booster yet. But many could urgently use that dose — here’s why.

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Last week, the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer held a closed-door meeting with senior U.S. health officials to pitch them on Covid-19 booster shots.

Just a few days prior, Pfizer announced they would ask the FDA to expand the emergency authorization for their current two-dose vaccine to include a third, a booster…


I read thousands of articles in the past year. These six are the most important for posterity.

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When the pandemic started I spent hours reading every day, alternating between research pre-prints, opinion pieces and long-form articles.

As a frontline physician and frequent guest on radio shows and cable news, I wanted to be up to date on every aspect of Covid-19. …


The pandemic shrank our social circles. It’s time to expand them.

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“I’ll tell you one thing, I’m sick of this damn Covid thing.” Carl and I had never met before, but on this we immediately found common ground.

Carl came out to our family’s cabin in New Hampshire to make some long-overdue repairs. …


Academic medical centers in the U.S. didn’t do enough to combat Ebola in West Africa — that cost us when Covid hit.

Photo by Andrey Metelev on Unsplash

I only vaguely remember the frenzied activity as they rushed me from the ambulance to the isolation ward. But I vividly recall the nurse trying to start an intravenous line in my left arm. I watched as she missed three times, hitting a nerve on her last attempt.

Later I…


It’s been a long time since I saw a Covid patient in the ER, and I couldn’t be happier

Photo: Camilo Jimenez/Unsplash

I’m an emergency room doctor in New York City, and I haven’t seen a Covid-19 patient in weeks. It feels great having my old job back.

In March 2020, Covid flooded our ERs. At first, it was just a dribble — one or two Covid patients per day. But within…


Around the world, many don’t have access to a vaccine. That’s scandalous.

Photo: John Cameron/Unsplash

My heart sank when I heard Romeo “Romy” Agtarap died of Covid-19. He had recently retired from nursing after two decades in the emergency room. But when Covid-19 surged into New York City last spring he joined us again on the frontlines. …

Craig Spencer MD MPH

NYC ER doctor | Ebola Survivor | Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at Columbia University | Public Health Professor | Doctors Without Borders BoD

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