His words yesterday were jarring: that we would see millions of cases of patients with Coronavirus and the surge would see between 100,000 to 275,000 deaths!
Some of you may know that after my cardiology fellowship training at the University of Toronto, I became a Lown Fellow at Harvard School of Public Health. My mentor was Dr. Bernard Lown, who was also renowned as a great scientist, and also a great clinician. If some of you think that I do a good job as a clinician and in “taking care of people”, I learned most of those skills from him.
He said something once that got my attention:
“WATCH OUT FOR THE GREAT PROGNOSTICATOR!”
That means, watch out what you say to patients about their future!
You can heal and you can hurt, and the words, though often based on experience, are nonetheless, “SPECULATIVE”.
In Cardiology, we’re really good with it:
“You’re next heart beat may be your last one!”
“You’re a walking time bomb!”
“You have the ‘widow maker’!”
“Most of your heart is dead!”
“Your heart virtually exploded!”
I’ve heard it all!
There are times I have said the wrong thing to a patient and I kick myself afterwards!
From my teaching I have always tried to teach patients about their problems, and to try and create optimism and educational choice making.
In Medicine, words can “hex” and damage, or they can be used as tools for healing!
The old adage stands true:
“Hope for the best”, “Plan for the worst”.
I’d like to say, as a humble clinical cardiologist who does his best to “take care of people”, that perhaps Dr. Fauci was planning for the worst! We don’t yet know how many millions of people will get this contagious virus, and currently we know that the mortality in the US is less than 1.5 %, but to state on an interview with CNN that there could be between 100,000 to 275,000 deaths is a speculative statement that only sows more fear.
Again, try to hold on to “PERSPECTIVE”!