Today, March 30, is National Doctors' Day, and this year there are plenty of reasons to honor the countless physicians who have worked so hard at the front lines of the pandemic. Jess Gould is one of these strong and compassionate practitioners, and her story truly highlights the amazing contributions of our medical community.
What is your job title and what do you do at work?
I am a Hospital Medicine physician. This means that I am the main physician caring for adults hospitalized with such diagnoses as heart attacks, strokes, severe infections and yes, COVID.
This past year, in particular the last 3-4 months, was grueling as cases surged and as our hospital was inundated with patients. I had never been so emotionally and physically challenged, not only in caring directly for these patients, but in serving as the go-between for their families who could not be with them. In this short time I experienced moments of immense sadness and trauma, but also some of the most heartwarming triumphs too.
Where do you work?
I work at Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles.
What do you love to do away from work?
I love to spend time with my husband and 1 1/2 year old. On hard days, they help to remind me that life goes on and that joy still exists. Prior to COVID, we loved to travel. Now we try to "get away" through new recipes.
What is your most memorable moment or what is your key lesson learned in the past year?
I think this year has demonstrated to us just how essential certain people and groups are to our society—groups like the postal service, school teachers, farm and food workers, etc. A majority of society ignores and undervalues these groups and I think that the pandemic truly underscored how vital these people are to daily life. They deserve higher pay and greater protections, and overall, far more respect.
What women inspire you?
I am always inspired by the intelligence, grace and generosity of Michelle Obama and the fortitude, drive and spirit of the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
What message would you share with the DOLAN community?
Everyone has hit their breaking point and it is so easy to feel like giving up. With vaccines and declining numbers comes hope that we can enter a "new normal" soon. You've got this! Hang in there and keep spreading kindness—I have found it is the best antidote in this pandemic.
"I just got home after a 12 hour day and wore this shirt all day under my scrubs. I never tend to wear long undershirts because I hate when my armpits are sweaty. But not at all the case! I was just super cozy and the perfect temp indeed. I’m completely sold!" - Doctor Jess Gould on her InfraCycle Rib top
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