Gynecologic Oncology Reassignment During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Given the rising burden of COVID-19 on institutions throughout the country, many hospitals are adapting with the reassignment of both medical and administrative staff members. We offer the following guidance and opinion to our members in order to help them discuss their potential reassignment outside the practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology, with their respective leadership. This document may require modification as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and further resource stratification needs to be revisited.
Gynecologic Oncology Inpatient and Outpatient Need:
As outlined in a previous SGO communication about the ongoing care of gynecologic oncology patients, gynecologic oncologists have the following ongoing responsibilities that should preclude their reassignment:
- Continued obligation to see new urgent and emergent cancer cases
- Continued obligation to oversee ongoing chemotherapy and radiation of patients and support medical oncology providers, as needed
- Continued obligation to operate on urgent and emergent cancer cases and to help gynecology colleagues with select gynecologic surgical emergencies
Gynecologic Oncology Coverage:
At most centers throughout the country, gynecologic oncologists provide back-up and support for obstetrical hemorrhage, gynecologic hemorrhage, and complicated benign pelvic pathology. Additionally, at many hospitals, the number of active gynecologic oncologists is limited in number. During the current crisis, given the need for efficient use of medical and surgical staff, gynecologic oncologists can be used to provide the following services to Obstetrics and Gynecology Departments on a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week basis:
- Obstetrical hemorrhage support
- Urgent and emergent benign surgery
- Urgent and emergent cancer surgery
- Urgent and emergent surgical consults by other hospital services
- Cesarean delivery support
The SGO hopes that the information provided will help each of our members discuss the efficient use of their medical and surgical expertise with their hospital’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.