Although the pandemic has posed many child health issues it has also had some unanticipated positives. We learnt that remote work is a feasible option for many occupations – at least part of the time anyway. We are learning how to be more efficient with scheduling and running meetings and conferences. We quickly figured out how to be creative with Zoom celebrations that in many instances connected people who might otherwise have never reconnected.
The pandemic highlighted the resilience and dedication of health care and public health workers. It has greatly accelerated the vaccine development process. UC Davis Health vaccinated over 4500 employees, residents, and students in just the first week of its COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. The rapid adoption of telemedicine and reimbursement for its services has increased access to care and scaled up an innovation that had a slow uptake in many areas. The pandemic is also credited for resulting in unparalleled increases in applications to medical schools, also termed the Fauci effect.
A highlight professionally was my virtual visit to the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) as the 2020 Paul V. Miles fellow. The award honors Dr. Miles’ service as Senior Vice President for Maintenance of Certification and Quality Improvement and is given each year to a pediatrician in recognition of their work in improving the quality of care for children. My virtual visit to the ABP included presenting grand rounds at Duke University and UNC (albeit at 5 am in California!) on how to engage and sustain clinicians in quality improvement efforts, and presentations to ABP staff on using Lean improvement methods to enhance efficiency.
2020 has had a lot of memories that we could have done without. But like everything else it has been a mixed bag and has had some positives. Until this period in our collective history is behind us and we can see each other in-person, happy new year!