Not Yet A Doctor but Still Finding Ways to Serve

After shelter-in-place orders shuttered academic institutions across the country, medical student Joseph Kidane organized with hundreds of his UCSF peers into a COVID-19 volunteer workforce.

通过 Mika Rivera UCSF Magazine Summer 2020

Portrait of Joseph Kidane.
Joseph Kidane, captured via FaceTime in his apartment near UCSF’s Parnassus campus on May 15 at 1 p.m. by photographer Steve Babuljak

Medical students’ days are typically packed full of classes and clinical rounds. But when the coronavirus pandemic forced UCSF to close in mid-March, many students found themselves in the unfamiliar position of having little to do.


On March 16, San Francisco issued the first shelter-in-place orders in the country. How did those orders affect you?

We third-year students were pulled from our clinical rotations. PPE was limited, and so UCSF Health hospitals had to prioritize providers and patients. It was the right decision to pull medical students.

与此同时,旋转是医学院的心脏和灵魂。我刚开始我的临床轮转一月。在医院里,与患者是,从伟大的医生学习 - 这是当应用到医疗学校里,我什么,我曾设想。这是很难终于得到了一点味道,然后突然有把你的梦想搁置。

Did you worry about your safety or your family’s safety?



What did you do after the campus was closed down?




How else has the Student Aid Team helped out?

The Student Aid team created a video that answers frequently asked questions and stresses the importance of social distancing.

We made a really fun video for the public to help people sort through all of the complex and confusing information about COVID-19. Instead of us being the learners, we thought, “Why don’t we be the educators?”

Now I’m working on a project with some medicine residents called Connecting During COVID. Hospitalized patients are restricted from having visitors due to concerns about spreading the virus. So we’re using tablets to connect patients with their loved ones and friends outside of the hospital.

How does it feel to help make those connections?

它可以是非常情绪化。最近,我与他的兄弟,谁是开始在临终关怀患者的视频聊天。他希望他的哥哥过世前与他的兄弟说话。我持有的平板电脑给他。他们说,“我爱你”,“我爱你”,“我爱你” - 来回,担心这可能是他们最后的机会。我很高兴我可以促进这一点。

Have you had other memorable moments with patients?


这使我想知道:将他的决定有所不同,如果我们在大流行的中间不是?他病得很厉害,所以也许不会。我听说患者避免了因covid的医院。但看到它的第一手资料 - 这是大开眼界我。

How have you adjusted to doing your clinical learning on Zoom?

In the beginning, I was a little apprehensive. I was like, “How am I supposed to connect with a patient if there’s a screen between us?”


It’s remarkable how much of health care has moved online these past couple months. Before the pandemic, UCSF Health did about 2% of its medical screenings over video. Now that number is at about 60%.


Has the pandemic changed how you feel about becoming a doctor and what you want to do with your career?

我曾经主要考虑医生的医院的城墙中,相对于个别患者的作用。现在我看到了医生的义务,公众的健康。可悲的是,我们现在看到在社会疏远政策疏忽被忽视或推翻该国的地区。我认为,医生应该倡导,以确保人民的安全政策 - 尤其是有色人种,谁在风险不成比例,和必要的工作人员,不具备就地避难的选择谁。 


Portrait of Kelly Timothy.

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