The Pandemic Effect: Raising the Bar for Ethics, Empathy, and Professional Collegiality

G. Richard Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


The widespread, tragic loss of life and the dedication of health care professionals have characterized the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic. While we mourn the loss of so many Americans to this novel virus, we also much acknowledge the positive effects to our profession, which are not insignificant. We have witnessed our larger community of otolaryngologist–head and neck surgeons pulling together in a manner not heretofore observed by this author. From the local level of practitioners to our national societies, there has been an amazing effort of collegial unity to develop the most clinically relevant guidelines for providing patient care with maximal safety, in the face of little scientific knowledge or experience with this virus. In addition, we as a specialty and individual otolaryngologists have, through our shared experiences, raised the bar for empathy, ethics, and professional interaction during these difficult times. We must reflect upon our professional growth and capture this renewal of altruism that lives at the heart of our calling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-622
Number of pages2
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • collegiality
  • empathy
  • medical ethics
  • pandemic
  • professionalism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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