Jul 20, 2020
Dr. Tsion Firew is an emergency physician at Columbia University, where she’s an assistant professor of Global Health. She’s served as a medic in the Iraq War. She’s also become a huge advocate for COVID testing for front line workers after she tested positive herself.
Tsion joins Dr. Donnica and talks about when it’s necessary to call 911 and take an ambulance or drive to the hospital. Often people will decide to bring their loved ones to the hospital on their own, but calling an ambulance will give them extra time to be treated before they get there. They discuss the experience of working in the hospital during the pandemic and what that means for health care workers who are constantly being exposed to COVID positive patients.
Tsion discusses the racial disparities she has seen in the pandemic. During her time at medical school, Dr. Firew consistently noticed that there were very few women of color in her classes. And now she’s seeing similar racial issues for patients. Unfortunately, the outcome of many medical cases is related to what zip code the patient lives in. People in lower-income zip codes are not being treated as well as people in wealthy zip codes. When people don’t have the same levels of education and healthcare, people are unfairly getting left behind.