Sharon Oster, MD

After speaking with Dr. Oster, we interviewed her regarding her insight on issues that are currently facing the healthcare community.

Below, we have included the Q&A that was conducted with Dr. Oster, to gain further perspective into the future of Healthcare.

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Q: What have been the biggest challenges with you and your patients in the last 9 months?

A: I got involved in medicine as always liked mysteries and felt that Infectious diseases allowed me to do that Also my father was a physical chemist involved in the propulsion devices for air bags and the anti SAM flares that helped save the Israeli air force during the 6 day Arab Israeli war He also developed the initial atom bomb pictures in a photographic division during world war 2 and always felt that nuclear poser could be used as a tool for future energy needs. the emphasis on science was intense with some globalism with my mother’s interest in languages.

Balancing my professional career and family life has been difficult. My husband died in the covid pandemic not of covid but of fear of going into the hospital when he likely had urosepsis. My daughter who is very independent to this day feels I never gave her the attention she needed and the guilt over that will haunt me the rest of my life. Coupled with practicing in California for 16 years which was extremely difficult and fact I had DES exposure briefly as a fetus and ankylosing spondylitis has led to extreme health problems that I worry have passed on to her.

As I have an aging practice the  last 24 months have led to not only problems with long covid but delays in care which result in diagnosing cancer late due to difficulty in getting patients into telemed doctors and even  getting the  studies that need to be done Coupled with a pandemic that has left patients with long haul symptoms and ongoing complications of covid , there is also  a lack of trust in the Public health system (saying the vaccines would prevent the disease when they didn’t but just decreased mortality and keeping children out of school when they had a much lower incidence of death ) that will follow us for ever in infectious diseases

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Q: Did we learn anything from the pandemic?

A: No The psychological harm that has been done to the children is unspeakable. The infighting between Public health ( Fauci) and Trump only makes us more suspicious of anything being said. I congratulate Trump on getting the vaccine quickly by concentrating on new technology and Biden getting the vaccine out quickly. If we waited for the vaccine Fauci wanted it would have been 21/2 years of isolation. Why do I feel we haven’t learned I remember similar problems in the early AIDS years when it was very hard for Hiv patients to get Into experimental protocols At the last International AIDS conference in the 1990’s being held in San Francisco (partially due to a political decision not to allow HIv positive immigrants to get permission to be American citizens ) there was rioting and it was afterwards that infectious disease allowed more compassionate use of new drugs . I was at the conference (as was Fauci) and I remember the demonstrators in the conference and in the streets . We didn’t learn from that and see no flexibility in how we reacted to this. At least we didn’t isolate the children and cause untold psychological damage for years to come and let the covid and nursing home patients die without family by their side due to being covid infected . The harm this has done to health employees is being seen as a quarter of the health care employees are estimated going to quit and psychologically I am not sure the damage can be undone although suggest for schools after school play to see if can help damage that has been done . In terms of my patient I try to undo the damage of saying the vaccines prevent the disease and get everyone vaccinated but when the story changes its hard to make them listen I have been vaccinated 5 times and have not gotten covid I am up to date on my vaccines and try to get my patients take all of them but the last 2 years and the misinformation put out does not help. In terms of long haul being Hlab27 positive and suffering a bloody diarrhea in my teens I assume there can be genetic predisposition to long haul there is in many diseases including ankylosing spondylitis.

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