Heroes of Podiatry
COVID-19 Response New York Part 2

At the Epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis In New York, podiatric residents are being recruited and are serving a vital role in the response. Here are three more brief stories of their courageous work under pressure helping to keep the EDs and wards running.

First Year Resident at Wykoff Heights Medical Center in New York Steps Up to Take Over Podiatry Service

Rachna Bangdiwala, DPM is a first-year resident at Wykoff Heights Medical Center in New York. At the center of this epidemic, Rachna has stepped forward to help as the hospital has had a shortage of physicians.  As several of her co-residents have been at home sick, she has taken over the podiatry service. She has been treating and even performing procedures on COVID positive patients. When resident physicians were called upon for additional help in the Emergency Department, Rachna volunteered to help despite the shortage of PPE. She has shown incredible strength and is putting her health and life on the line to serve the needs of her hospital. Thank you for your work!

Kanika Kochhar, DPM, MA 
PGY-1, Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital 

Podiatric Residents at Metropolitan Hospital Step Up to Front Lines in Treatment of COVID-19 in NYC Upper East Side

I, Muhammad Ansari, am a PGY-3 Resident at the Metropolitan Hospital Center which is located on the Upper East Side in Manhattan which is at the Epicenter of the COVID outbreak. All nine residents are on the front lines weekly handling podiatry consults and working alongside the General Surgery team in the ICU at Metropolitan Hospital which has been filled with patients with COVID-19.  Our residents have assisted in many codes and with the daily management of patients with COVID-19. In addition, the PGY1s are helping to triage and test patients in the Emergency Room who potentially may have the virus. In addition, our attending Dr Sheikh has been diligent in seeking out donations for PPE equipment so that the residents can protect themselves. All the residents are very grateful for her hard work in providing N95 masks, gowns, gloves, hand sanitizer, and face shields. Due to these wonderful donations, the residents are now able to better serve the community.

Two of Tracey Vlahovic, DPM’s Former Podiatry Students Serve as Medical Residents Amidst COVID-19 Crisis in Brooklyn, NY

Podiatry residents have been conscripted to be medicine residents to help out with the COVID surge. By just after noon there were already over 10 deaths for the day from the virus in the hospital. Rapid response codes were called so frequently I counted 4 in an hour at one point. Usually I hear maybe two a day. I called my director to let him know one of our patients had died and he had a hard time keeping up with which one it was because they aren't hanging around long. But at the end of the day, around 7PM, I could hear people cheering and honking through the open window of the office and it silenced the despair I had felt all day. I've felt what it feels to make a difference for the community. Finally.

Andrew Gunter, DPM
NY-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

Camille Kim, DPM
Brooklyn Hospital Center

Andrew Gunter, DPM
Camille Kim, DPM