Just what the doctor ordered
Kudos to the 100 or more medical doctors who have come together in urging local residents to join this life-saving campaign by being vaccinated for Covid-19. Given the unprecedented death rate that our island is facing, the open letter signed off on by these physicians is more than timely.
It is, obviously, “just what the doctor ordered”.
Of course, the role of physicians in a community is a special one, dating back some 4,000 years to ancient Egypt. Michael Zimmerman, Visiting Professor at the University of Manchester’s Centre of Biomedical Egyptology, explains how that civilisation provided the foundation for today’s practice of medicine, highlighting the role of Imhotep, whose influence proved critical. Even many centuries after his death, the Greeks built temples in his honour, highlighting the Egyptian’s contribution in requiring evidence-based approaches for the medical profession.
It was the Greek Hippocrates, whose oath remains iconic: first, do no harm. It is clear that those signing that open letter were honouring that call to exercise integrity, with their collective sense of responsibility.
Those doctors who have joined this call, exemplify those ancient way-showers on whose shoulders they stand. This by leveraging the information age, which clearly shows that vaccinated populations around the globe have 300 per cent more protection against Covid than those who are not.
While there are 102 doctors who signed off; this is from a list of 183 registered physicians. I have been in touch with Wilbert Warner, a person who many consider a dean of the profession, and he points out that a large portion of those who didn’t get a chance to sign off would have included some doctors who are either semi or fully retired — even a couple who are deceased — as well as a fair number of “visiting doctors”. This latter group are those physicians who are basically non-resident, but come on island regularly to practise for short periods.
For instance, John Cann is not included and I’m well aware of his passion for the vital role that vaccinations play generally, in combating Covid-19 in particular.
That said, I humbly posit that this list of signatories includes those doctors who are generally considered to be our island’s exemplary professionals. Of course, I would be closely familiar with only a small portion of those listed. But, even at the risk of leaving some out, let me comment on a few.
Duane Pitt is a spine specialist. While based in Arizona, he has a practice in his homeland and is recognised in the United States for his innovative approaches. He serves as a medical consultant to Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants.
Ewart Brown, the former Premier of Bermuda, is a general practitioner who has a degree in public health, giving him a particular insight into best practices for pandemics.
Fiona Ross is a GP who is described by most as the classic “family doctor”.
This sign-off by the 100-plus is an act of integrity. That term is rooted in the word “integration”, which speaks to the importance of true community. Addressing this pandemic reminds us of the need for all of us to work together towards an integrated whole.
• Glenn Fubler represents Imagine Bermuda