Clinical Spotlight: Marlin Trainer, DO

The Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine employs a diverse team of clinical faculty. These physician-educators have expertise in educational theory and practice, as well as hands-on teaching.

While all of ICOM’s clinical faculty continue providing health care when not in the classroom, the progression of the novel coronavirus shows just how instrumental our faculty members are in the local medical community. Whether it’s through telemedicine or active patient care, ICOM’s clinical faculty are health care heroes helping to shape the future physicians of our region.

Q: Where are you currently seeing patients?

A: I work in St. Luke’s ERs across the Treasure Valley, from Mountain Home to Fruitland, including Nampa, Meridian and Boise.

Q: Have ave you seen anything like this COVID-19 pandemic during your prior clinical experience?

A: I have never seen anything like it in 27 years.

Q: How has your day-to-day clinical experience or routine changed due to this pandemic?

A: I have to expect that every patient I see has COVID-19 infection; we are expected to wear a surgical mask our entire shift. We are also trying to minimize patient contact. After my initial evaluation, if the patient is comfortable with this, we ask for the their phone number and text results to them. We see them physically during the initial evaluation and again at discharge as long as they remain stable. We also have to try and minimize staff exposure, so during codes and with critical patients we try to minimize staff exposure while maintaining the highest level of care.

Q: What are your thoughts/feelings when you walk into your hospital/clinic to start your shift?

A: It’s like walking into a war zone. But I think in many areas the ER is always¬†like a war zone (definitely where I moved to Idaho from was like being in the trenches every shift). Certainly, so far here it hasn’t gotten that bad, yet!

Q: Between academia, work, family and life in general — what do you do to safeguard your mental health and wellbeing?¬†

A: Wine! Kidding…I continue to work out. I have a private area for work. I try to maintain normal work hours…although you can see how that’s working out…I make time for family and I am trying to have Happy Hours and dinners with family and friends via video social networking. We’ll also play games over Zoom like Yahtzee or cards.

Q: What advice do you have for our students as they prepare to become physicians who could find themselves in the midst of a similar pandemic in the future?

A: This type of pandemic may become more commonplace as the world becomes smaller with our ability to go anywhere in the world in 24 hours or less. Get ready for it, mentally, and always remember to take of yourselves mentally, physically and emotionally.

Dr. Marlin Trainer serves as an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at ICOM.

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