SCOTTSDALE, AZ — He is a doctor with a heart for service. Dr. Greg Margolin, and adult intensivist working at HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center is leaving to serve at a hospital in Brooklyn, New York on Thursday.
An Intensivist is a doctor who cares for critically ill patients, typically in an intensive care unit.
Dr. Margolin said he would be working at the Woodhull Medical Center in Brooklyn, which housed many COVID-19 patients on ventilators.
This is the same hospital that has lost two healthcare workers, and a former healthcare worker within the last few weeks.
"The need is great there for critical care physicians as there as they have more ventilator patients out at that facility," said Dr. Margolin.
He has already overseen the care of several COVID-19 patients and believed Arizona would be hit hard later this summer.
Dr. Margolin said there was a shortage of critical care specialists in hard-hit areas like New York. He hoped this pandemic would teach the country that having medical professionals ready to go at times like this was a good idea.
"It would be really nice if this country, much like you have a reserve national guard for military conflict, it would be actually rather clever if a medical national guard was assembled," said Dr. Margolin.
He added that this would activate medical professionals to areas they were needed in much faster. Instead of doing paperwork, going through background checks, and proving they had a valid license, they could get to work right away.
"While it's not a formal declaration of war, we are facing times that have similar pressures. Economic pressures and lives on the line. If anybody has the ability to make a meaningful impact I think it's your duty to step up and deliver a meaningful outcome," said Margolin.
Asked if he worried about his own health, the doctor said he was more worried about leaving his family.
"Regarding this disease, I know how it's transferred. My hands are absolutely chapped from washing them probably ten times more than I already wash them," said Margolin.
"I don't want to be reckless but I think with caution I'll come through this with no more than an itchy throat," he added.
Dr. Margolin showed ABC15 the personal protective gear he planned to take with him, something he had improvised himself, and offered much more protection than an N95 mask.
He said it was inspired by the Italians, but improved upon by him.
"I partnered it up with an adaptor on the end, with a ventilator viral filter. It snaps right on and it's pretty stable," said Margolin.
He said the filter could be used for at least half a month, if not a month.
"Its something I've improvised because it is superior protection for me the user," said Margolin.