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Profiles of Courage: Dominder Kaur, MD

BY Kadesha Washington

Dominder Kaur, MD, is a pediatric hematologist at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. During the pandemic, she worked at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s adult intensive care unit, assisting her medical colleagues in caring for COVID-19 patients. For Kaur, that was a very humbling experience.

“It was emotionally and physically exhausting. I watched many dedicated colleagues face the suffering so closely yet continued to serve and do their best.”

By the nature of her work in pediatrics, Kaur typically sees a family member alongside her patient. However, that is not typical with adult patients, and, as Kaur shared, being a messenger and keeping families connected became an unexpected role. “When I went to my patients’ room, I carried messages from their loved ones,” she said. “Your sister called, she’s praying for you, or your wife is waiting and counting on you to wake up soon.”

Kaur revealed that supporting patients and sharing in their journey is a rewarding aspect of her job, especially in these challenging times. She recalled a poignant story shared with her by the wife of a patient.

“They met about a decade and a half ago during a prolonged hospital stay. Both were being treated for a severe infection. During that hospitalization, they shared a journey and an experience that bonded them so well that they got married after they were discharged. Today, he fights (SARS-COV2) alone, and all she can think about is not being by his side.”

While Kaur cared for adults, her young patients remained in good hands. “My amazing and very supportive team, including our nurse practitioners, help care for my patients,” she said. “Special thanks to Maureen Licursi, who ensures my patients are still able to reach me when necessary!”

Our sincerest thanks to Dr. Kaur for her tireless work and compassionate care.


Have a story that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you! Send an email to Kadesha Washington at kw2718@cumc.columbia.edu.

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