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Older Clinicians and the Surge in Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Educational Objective
To understand the risk of COVID-19 to older physicians and nurses
1 Credit CME

The recent report of 2 critically ill emergency physicians infected by the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a sobering reminder of the vulnerability of the nation’s health care workforce.1 While all members of the health care workforce are vital as the health care system faces perhaps its greatest challenge in memory, physicians and nurses are the caregivers who typically have the most direct contact with patients, whether through advising, triaging, or treating those who require hospitalization.

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Article Information

Corresponding Author: Douglas O. Staiger, PhD, Department of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755 (doug.staiger@dartmouth.edu).

Published Online: March 30, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.4978

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Buerhaus reports receipt of grants from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, serving as a member of the National Academy of Medicine Committee on the Future of Nursing 2020-2030, and serving as chair of the unfunded National Health Care Workforce Commission created by the Affordable Care Act. No additional disclosures were reported.

References
1.
Modern Healthcare.  Two emergency physicians in critical condition after becoming infected with COVID-19. Published March 15, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2020. https://www.modernhealthcare.com/providers/two-emergency-physicians-critical-condition-after-becoming-infected-covid-19
2.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; COVID-19 Response Team.  Severe outcomes among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)—United States, February 12-March 16, 2020.   MMWR. 2020;69(12):343-346. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6912e2Google Scholar
3.
Ruggles  S , Flood  S , Goeken  R ,  et al. IPUMS USA: version 10.0 [data set]. IPUMS; 2020. doi:10.18128/D010.V10.0
4.
WIFR TV.  Pritzker asks retired physicians, doctors and nurses to come back to work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Posted March 21, 2020. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://www.wifr.com/content/news/Pritzker-asks-retired-physicians-doctors-and-nurses-to-come-back-to-work-during-the-COVID-1o-oubreak-568997121.html
5.
Norman  G . Fox News website.  Britain asking 65 000 retired nurses and doctors to return to work to help fight coronavirus. Posted March 20, 2020. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/world/britain-coronavirus-retired-nurses-doctors
6.
Marsh  J ; New York Post.  In one day, 1000 NYC doctors and nurses enlist to battle coronavirus. Posted March 21, 2020. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://nypost.com/2020/03/18/in-one-day-1000-nyc-doctors-and-nurses-enlist-to-battle-coronavirus/
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