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Critical Care Training in NYC, as COVID-19 Doctor and Patient

By Dr. Omesh Toolsie

Clinical training in America’s most populous city is known for being vigorous. If you’ve done any residency or fellowship training in New York City, you know that there is little downtime—chances are you’re busy year-round! The patient population here is perhaps the most diverse in the world and that fact is reflected in the rich clinical exposure; training in NYC is a qualification in itself. My wife and I, both physicians, moved from Trinidad and Tobago in June 2014 to pursue residency training in internal medicine at the BronxCare Health System. After completing residency, I completed a fellowship in pulmonary diseases at the same institution before moving to Montefiore Medical Center for training in critical care medicine. After almost six years in NYC, I found myself feeling comfortable managing very sick patients in almost any clinical context, but I was soon to be put out of my comfort zone…(read more )

Dr. Omesh Toolsie
Name: Dr. Omesh Toolsie
Home Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Training Site: Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts
Specialty: Sleep Medicine
Journeys in Medicine Blog Post: Critical Care Training in NYC, as COVID-19 Doctor and Patient
“I consider it an honor to have served as a critical care fellow in NYC alongside some of the best people I have ever worked with. I am a stronger intensivist and a better human being for my experience at Montefiore, one that I will never forget. What this ordeal has taught me is that strong and effective leadership, with genuine teamwork, can weather any storm.”

— Dr. Omesh Toolsie



International medical graduates account for about one quarter of all physicians in graduate medical education in the United States. Within that cohort there are more than 12,500 foreign national physicians, sponsored by ECFMG on the J-1 visa, providing critical health care services and cultural diversity. ECFMG is designated by the U.S. Department of State as the sole BridgeUSA sponsor for J-1 exchange visitor physicians enrolled in accredited programs of graduate medical education or training. During the COVID-19 pandemic, J-1 physicians have played a vital role on health care teams that are stretched to the limit.

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