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Vassar on the Front Lines

Voices from a Pandemic

Gabrielle Shapiro ’79

Dr. Gabrielle Shapiro is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Health Systems in New York. She is a Board Certified Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and has been in practice for more than 20 years.


Submitted May 1, 2020

Reflection #1 Realizing the Magnitude

“In the second week of March, in the clinics I work in Harlem, some people were getting sick, including staff members. I was quite concerned, and I moved very quickly to try and convince the clinic leadership to move toward virtual sessions as much as possible.”

Reflection #2 Inspiration

“The most inspiring part of the experience is to see how all the people that I work with rose to the occasion, dealt with adversity, dealt with these challenges, and were able to really make things work really quickly.”

Reflection #3 Stressful Times

“One memory that will stay with me is I had a very, very good friend that was an emergency room doctor you may have seen on TV, Frank Gabrin, and he passed away at the end of March after being fine on the 19th of March and working in a couple of ERs, both in Queens and New Jersey. He was a fantastic man, a great physician and a good friend. The reality of the situation sort of hit me hard when he died.”

Read more about Dr. Frank Gabrin, the first Amercian ER physician to die during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reflection #4 The New Normal

“I think life will never be the same. I think that there will be a morphed new normal for medical treatment, and just life in general. I hope that it brings us together.”

Reflection #5 Thank You

“Thank you for all the support of physicians during this very difficult time.”

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