Persevering: Ultramarathon

Persevering Through A Pandemic – 3 – Ultramarathon

Whilst some people choose to run long distances, caring for patients in the ICU is not supposed to feel like an ultramarathon.

If you work in the complex, high stress, emotion-generating environment of an ICU, it might sometimes feel like you are the logistics organiser of an ultimate endurance event, but you should hardly feel like you are a competitor.

Yet when COVID-19 arrived, the initial sprint became a marathon and that’s now turned into a seemingly never-ending ultramarathon.

In this third episode of the “Persevering Through A Pandemic” series, you’ll hear about this pandemic ultramarathon and the effects it’s had on the people working in ICUs in the UK. A period which has been physically and emotionally difficult yet has provided glimpses of career satisfaction along the journey.

Amongst other topics, UK intensivists Drs Matt Morgan, Hugh Montgomery and Georg Auzinger talk honestly about their worst pandemic days, the discomfort that they and their colleagues felt, how their teams kept afloat in such an overwhelming situation and the lingering effects on clinician mental health. There is mention of an interesting letter one of them sent and a special kind of chocolate cake!

My hope is this will help you as a listener to reflect on and to process your own pandemic experience whilst hearing lessons you might take away to your Intensive Care community.

Thank you for listening to these wise and thoughtful Intensive Care clinicians tell you how they’ve been “Persevering Through A Pandemic”.

Andrew Davies


Links to featured guests

Persevering Through A Pandemic Series

Cite this article as: Andrew Davies, "Persevering: Ultramarathon," In: LITFL - Life in the FastLane, Accessed on September 26, 2022, https://litfl.com/persevering-ultramarathon/.

Further reading and listening

Mastering Intensive Care

with Andrew Davies

Dr Andrew Davies MBBS FRACP FCIC. Intensivist/researcher at Frankston Hospital, Melbourne. Aiming to bring my best self to work & life. | Mastering Intensive Care | New Normal project |

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