Karly Raber ’20 MD expected to spend her final months of medical school finishing up her last rotations, but her plans were upended by the pandemic. In March the Feinberg School of Medicine, along with other U.S. medical schools, paused clinical rotations for student safety. But Raber, who began her emergency medicine residency in July at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., wasn’t about to sit on the sidelines.
In the spring she got involved in COVID-19 monitoring efforts, calling people across the Chicago area who had tested positive for the virus to track how they were feeling, monitor their symptoms and refer them to more intensive care as needed.
The monitoring work presented unique challenges. “Just talking to someone over the phone, you have to really use all the information that you can,” Raber says. “You’re listening to how someone sounds when they talk, how many words they can say before taking a breath and how labored those breaths sound.”
Raber and her fiancé moved to New York in early June, on what would have been their wedding day — the pandemic forced them to reschedule for 2021. She was eager to get started at Kings County, which had been hit hard by COVID-19.
“I know that I’ll be putting myself and the people in my life at risk, and that’s very sobering,” Raber says. “The doctors in New York have been through an overwhelming situation, and I am hopeful that I can bring new energy to the hospital and help provide some relief.”