Aaron Mittel, M.D. ’12

By UM News

Aaron Mittel, M.D. ’12

By UM News

Aaron Mittel, M.D. ’12, is a critical care anesthesiologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY, treating patients with COVID-19. While his primary role is clinical care, he has also been involved in the logistical side of the department’s response where he was instrumental in developing alternatives to “traditional” ventilation, including using one ventilator for multiple patients in an effort to save lives. While Dr. Mittel follows all safety protocols, he realizes having adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) is a luxury and reduces his PPE use to ensure that others have the supplies they need. He finds that maintaining a semblance of cognitive "safety" in the form of exercise helps him manage the crisis.

Dr. Mittel acknowledges the wide range of sacrifices and suffering experienced by those who are not on the front lines, but have lost loved ones, or their income, or who battle a sense of disconnection during the pandemic. While health care workers deserve to be in the spotlight, he said, “Moving forward, I hope we can direct our attention to those who are battling this pandemic in other ways. I hope that society does not forget the personal and economic sacrifices we've all made to help save lives.”