In Celebration of National Doctor’s Day, Patient Safety Authority Shares Doctors’ Reflections in the Middle of a Pandemic



Contact: Beverly Volpe
Patient Safety Authority PR Representative
609-230-4696 (mobile)


In Celebration of National Doctor’s Day, Patient Safety Authority Shares Doctors’ Reflections in the Middle of a Pandemic


     Harrisburg, PA – March 30, 2021 – One year after many Pennsylvania physicians saw their first cases of COVID-19, they have shared their triumphs, their traumas, and their revelations with the Patient Safety Authority. Released on National Doctor’s Day, their stories, which can be read here, uncover poignant moments, depths of suffering, and warnings to be heeded.

     “You can’t help but feel a pit in your stomach. A bad feeling sends a shudder down your spine. However, you must get dressed for another day in the “war zone” where we march to the beat of weakening hearts,” writes Rinata Azizbayeva, DO, PGY2 of Forbes Family Medicine in Allegheny County. “I’ve learned that I am stronger than I thought and to never take a single moment for granted because life can end unexpectedly.” Her colleague Rebecca Davis, DO, has only been a doctor during the time of COVID-19. “Nothing could have fully prepared me for this,” she states. “For so many patients, things have changed in an instant, so I am trying to better appreciate what I have.”

     “At the beginning, we all felt like we were on a cliff without a safety net, yet we had no choice but to be diligent and do our best with what we had,” recalls Margaret Wojnar, MD, Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Penn State College of Medicine and Milton S. Hersey Medical Center. “We were challenged, scared; saddened by death; and disappointed. But we persisted. I am impressed and comforted by the extraordinary willingness of others to help each other. It is a reminder that together, we can solve any problem.”

    Stanton N. Smullens, MD, chair of the Patient Safety Authority, reflects on what we have learned as a society from the pandemic. “We were woefully unprepared, and politicizing science is both foolish and dangerous,” he offers. “These episodes are occurring more regularly and will continue to do so with our interconnected world. As an end to COVID-19 is slowly coming into view, we must always remember: another pandemic is coming.”

    “Doctors deserve nothing less than our immense gratitude,” says Regina Hoffman, executive director of the PSA. “Their stories reveal strength and dedication, and their insights come from frontline experiences that cannot be ignored. When this pandemic is behind us—and it will be—I am hopeful that the next chapter brings radical change to protect patients, doctors, and all healthcare workers.”


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