Socially Distanced Fall Family Fun in the Triangle

As a resident, there is limited time away from rotations to spend with family and fulfill my roles as a husband and father. It has been especially difficult to find safe and responsible activities with my family due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has remained a large threat and concern to our community since the spring. As the temperatures drop and leaves begin to fall, it is important to remain vigilant and continue taking precautions, such as wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing. However, there are still many activities in the Durham area and at home that you can take advantage of to keep your whole family entertained! Below are some of my favorite ideas for fall family fun in the time of COVID-19.

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Karen Scherr, MD, PhD Karen Scherr, M.D., Ph.D.

Avoiding the doctor’s office? You are not alone.

As a primary care physician, an important part of my job is to ensure patients are up-to-date on their “health maintenance,” which includes screening tests (e.g. pap smears or colonoscopies) and also preventive medicine (e.g. flu shots). I spend hours talking with patients about the importance of health maintenance, inquiring about any barriers to getting care, and helping them brainstorm solutions to overcome these barriers. I truly believe in the importance of these things, and it is one of the reasons that I chose family medicine.

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Linh Nguyen, M.D. Linh Nguyen, M.D.

In my last resident blog post, I wrote about cultivating resilience amidst the rigors of residency training. Even as a newly-minted third-year resident, this remains a moving target. In light of recent worldwide events, I have been wrestling with managing my brain’s negativity bias when confronted with the deluge of upsetting headlines, social media posts, and topics of conversation. When there is so much to fight against and to be upset about, where does happiness fit in? 

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Ry Garcia-Sampson, M.D., MPH Ry Garcia-Sampson, M.D., MPH

My path to medicine began as a young child watching the health challenges faced by my family. This included Hepatitis C from a bad blood transfusion before more stringent blood testing protocols were put into place, many battles with breast cancer, kidney cancer, and chronic medical conditions such as Diabetes, hypertension, depression and anxiety, just to name a few. My mother has been fortunate to have received three organ transplants: 2 liver transplants and a kidney donated to her by her youngest sister.

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Adeola Phebean Oluwase, M.D., MSc Adeola Phebean Oluwase, M.D., MSc

During one of our last monthly community walks before the statewide lockdown for COVID-19, Lorna (not real name) and I brought up the rear. Our paces were perfectly matched; she, an elderly woman walking intentionally and carefully, and me, a young mother, pushing a double stroller with two kids. Our conversations ranged from our favorite things to do in Durham to her life as the partner of a diplomat and all the countries in which she has lived, to my life as a medical resident in Durham. We talked about her children and grandchildren, her commitment to a healthy lifestyle, and her desire to maximize the time and quality of time she has with her family. Seeing us from afar, you would think we had known each other for years; in actuality, we had just met that morning.

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