The 'VIP Syndrome' on display as doctors treat President Trump

Oct 8, 2020

As President of the United States, Donald Trump had access to the best medical care when he was being treated for the coronavirus. But that's only part of the medical story. "It's a real challenge to take care of VIP patients, whether they're in the hospital or not," said Dr. Nancy Nielsen, Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who wrote about the "VIP Syndrome" at The Conversation.com.

Dr. Nancy Nielsen is the Senior Associate Dean for Health Policy at UB's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Credit Buffalo.edu

"It refers to the tendency of clinicians to treat famous or influential patients differently because they feel pressured to go along with whatever the VIP wants."

Nielsen, a former President of the American Medical Association, believes many of her colleagues have a variety of opinions on the treatment provided to President Trump but they "probably silently empathize with the medical team."

During her weekly discussion with WBFO, Nielsen refrained from offering any specific criticism of the treatment provided to the President. Still, she advises the President to revisit his determination to take part in next week's debate.

"If you look at the studies of people who've even had mild to moderate cases of COVID, two-thirds of them will tell you that sixty days later they are not really feeling well."