Seth Baum, MD on How I Practice Now: Inspiring Creativity to Overcome Challenges

In this video, Cardiology Consultant Advisory Board Member Seth Baum, MD, discusses the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented and how cardiologists have been able to successfully overcome them. 

Additional Resources:

 COVID-19 Care360.

Seth Baum, MD, is a preventive cardiologist and the immediate past president of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.

TRANSCRIPT:

Seth Baum: Hello again, Cardiology Consultant audience. My name is Seth Baum. I’m a preventive cardiologist, the immediate past president of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology, and I’m very happy to be here today to just chat with you once again. I wanted to mention today frankly how difficult it has been through COVID and also how we have been successful at meeting some of these challenges.

You know, a couple of things that I note are that although it’s very, very important for us to shelter in as we did and wear masks and be careful, we have seen what happens if our patients are too afraid. Patients have not come in and have had heart attacks at home, or strokes, or even worse, we think that some of them have passed away at home. Now this seems to be reversing. Patients are more comfortable coming to the hospital to our offices, and I think that’s a great thing–obviously. 

I think the overarching lesson for us—from how I see it, anyway—is that this is an incredible challenge, COVID. And you know, one response is to shut down everything and stop and say, “OK, let’s all stay safe for as long as it takes.” Unfortunately, there are consequences to that, with heart disease as I’ve noted, in pediatrics there clearly are issues for the children who are going through this. In oncology there’s been issues and not diagnosing cancers and what that’s going to ultimately lead to. So it may not be the best thing just to say, “OK, let’s stop and wait and stick our heads in the sand.” I think what we need to do is to adapt. We need to be creative. We need to inspire creativity among all of us. We need to find ways to meet these challenges.

So in my world, which is mostly clinical research, what we’ve done—and we’ve stayed open, frankly, during the entire COVID experience, and I’m knocking on wood and hoping that we continue to be able to be successful—we keep changing our practices. You know, we implement PPE, then we implement more PPE. We buy air filtration devices. We separate the schedule to an A-B schedule, so we have less interaction among the team. So there are ways to do this, and I think we need to, again, inspire this and support creative ways to, you know, to meet this challenge. There’s nothing that is perfect; there’s no question about it. We’re in a terrible position right now, but we can't just stand still. We need to keep moving forward. And I think, frankly, as a group, we cardiologists have done really, really well. And hopefully we continue to do really, really well. 

Oh, and I before I say goodbye, I neglected to say that for our own personal health, I think we need to continue to exercise. I think we can’t gain the weight that some of us have gained. I gained 10 pounds during the first part of this, and I’ve recently lost that way because I saw, “Oh my God, this is terrible.” So we need to control our eating, we need to control our drinking, but we need to continue to exercise, communicate as best as we can through Zoom and FaceTime and other ways with people we love. And we will get through this. So again, wishing everyone health and happiness. Until next time, signing off, Seth Baum, wishing you well.

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