Orange County ER doctor shares how he copes with stresses of pandemic

The health care heroes treating people with COVID-19 are not immune to the pandemic blues,

The health care heroes treating people with COVID-19 are not immune to the pandemic blues, but some are using their creativity to cope with the stress.

For Dr. Tim Korber, who’s based in Orange County, a healthy mind outside of the hospital has been key to avoiding a burnout.

“Outside activities are one of the safest things you can do, so my wife and I looked at each other and said, ‘Lets get mountain bikes! Let’s start mountain biking, let’s get on the golf course and start golfing’,” said Dr. Korber, the medical director of Fountain Valley Regional’s emergency department.

His wife is also a doctor at another local hospital. Early in the pandemic, they decided to find ways to cope in order to stay fresh and be ready for the long haul.

“What can we do that is safe and fun? And one of the first things I thought of was I’m (going to) start recording music again,” he said.

Dr. Korber has played live music most of his life, so when his bands got shut down, he decided to put new original songs online, including his first called “Virus Blues.”

“Something that would be fun, a little humorous, but at the same time, a little educational and throw in there a few things about how this thing is transmitted and what are safe things you can do,” said Dr. Korber.

He’s hoping people will also think outside of the box for their own well-being.

“I’ve been doing this for a total of 30 years and I’m still a very high-energy guy and a large part of that is making the decision that you’re not (going to) let the circumstances around you bring you down,” he said.

He says working in the ER is very difficult, especially in a pandemic when hospital workers are up against another surge.

“I signed up for this profession to help people and the satisfaction I’m going to get out of this is that if I put a lot of time and energy into it, we can really make a difference in people’s lives every day and 30 years later, I still embrace that philosophy,” said Dr. Korber.

Tenet Healthcare says it takes pride in the extraordinary professionalism and dedication their physicians and staff demonstrate every day, saying the work hasn’t been easy, but that they continue to rise to the challenge.

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