A story of how a clinician, mentor, father, and husband is handling the COVID-19 pandemic on the frontlines and social media.
David Hill, MD
The city of Waterbury, CT, just an afternoon drive from Manhattan, stands in the radius of the US coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epicenter. As of May 11, the New England city had surpassed 1500 confirmed cases and 128 deaths.
Every day for months, David Hill, MD, has begun his 13-hour work day the same at Waterbury Hospital. He dons the scrubs and personal protective equipment that have come to replace his dress shirts and ties. He gets his temperature taken at the hospital entrance. And then he begins to care, with his life at a great risk.
Little in Hill’s personal life can serve as solace to his high-stress workdays now. He self-quarantines from his wife and two daughters, including one at high COVID-19 risk if she were infected. He eats dinner from a distance, sleeps in a separate room and, as a lighthearted nod to Tom Hanks in Castaway, nicknamed an accompanying medicine ball in his room “MB.” In the mornings and evenings, he talks to his family through an Alexa Echo Dot; he also keeps his phone on in case a colleague needs his help.
At a time when most frontline physicians may retreat home at night and seek any escape from the troubles of this pandemic, Hill seeks out the next problem. He spends free time on social media, leading discussion with colleagues on the newest understandings and developments around COVID-19. He also takes inaccurate or harmful opinions on the pandemic to task—quickly developing a following on Facebook and Twitter with his authoritative and measured tone.
When Hill isn’t working at Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, he is a volunteer with the American Lung Association, an assistant clinical professor at the Frank Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, and a clinical instructor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. When the healthcare community doesn’t absolutely need him, he enjoys working with his temple and playing tennis.
HCPLive® is happy to name Hill a Hero of Healthcare. We had the privilege of speaking to him, along with three of his colleagues, to learn more about what drives him and how he is handling the COVID-19 pandemic.