Chris Kunis, MD, on Internal Medicine & COVID 19
I spent the last 33 years practicing medicine by saving lives and helping to develop unbiased, objective, evidenced-based criteria so that U.S. healthcare can become the best in the world. Now, as an expert board certified in internal medicine, I oversee the work of my college’s quality care in critical appraisal and peer review. The world of internal medicine was flashed by a pandemic in 2020. For those who lost loved ones, the blinding effect was more like a nuclear blast.
There was audible panic in the news and in politics, as we spent countless 12-hour shifts in Tyvek with double N95 masks and face shields, while patients suffered and died alone in isolation. We either had to close offices and lay off staff, or step up to help drive-by testing centers and support the scared population with telehealth, while students and their homebound parents watched in horror and confusion. I have seen the worst public health crisis in a century and witnessed our normal support systems fail.
The extremes of political rhetoric disgust me because of bias placed on medicine that blurred our patient care processes and confused our critical patient appraisals and treatment. We depend on all board-certified physician specialists to translate standards of care into evidence-based practice guidelines. Our medical societies depend on our board-certified physicians as specialists and physician leaders to coordinate skilled healthcare services and provide lifesaving skills for our communities.
As an internist certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties® (ABPS), I continue to fulfill that role as a physician leader. I understand current practices as well as how to benchmark examination questions for certification with the Board of Certification in Internal Medicine (BCIM). The ABPS uses physician career experience to make our certification processes surpass those of other organizations. This combination of predictive analytics and evidence-based certification exam content will test our applicants’ decision-making.
I thank all of our BCIM-certified physicians for the patients they cared for with dignity and love, and for the many thousands of lives saved by their exhaustive efforts, and I pray for those who lost their lives during the war against COVID 19.
Dr. Chris Kunis, MD, is senior executive medical director of eQ Health Solutions for Florida Medicaid and a Diplomate of the ABPS.