DR.ARAFAT HAKIM REFLECTS ON PRACTICING MEDICINE DURING A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

Dr.Arafat Hakim is a Hospitalist physician in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He started seeing Covid-19 patients around late March at Mercy Hospital Philadelphia. By mid-April approximately 70-80 percent of hospital came in for Covid-19. As in many places, gowns, masks and other PPE equipment were rationed due to low supplies. To address this shortage in equipment, the hospital began limiting the number of physicians who were seeing Covid-19 patients. As an attending Physician, Dr. Hakim initially felt anxious about seeing Covid-19 patients, however, after a few days it quickly became a routine part of his practice.

Practicing medicine during a global pandemic was a humbling experience for Dr. Hakim; there was one day when there were 14 deaths in a 24-hour period from Covid-19, most from nursing home and others with pre-existing conditions. These times have indeed pushed Dr. Hakim and other healthcare professionals to truly reaffirm their value for the bounty of life.Now, with a better understanding of the disease and better medications, Dr. Hakim hopes to continue the fight, adding that he and the entire nation prays that a vaccine is developed soon.

Dr. Hakim recommends to his patients and all others to follow basic guidelines regarding prevention. “Take adequate precaution without getting too worried, stay physically active with regular exercise, and eat a healthy diet,” he adds.  He also adds that it is an important time to keep oneself occupied with those things that matter most. For Dr. Hakim these things include faith, work, family, and friends.