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1,300 miles apart, twin ER doctors help fight COVID-19

Video credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on April 29, 2020 - Duration: 02:22s

1,300 miles apart, twin ER doctors help fight COVID-19

For twin brothers Michael and Dennis D’Urso, medical residency was supposed to mean distance.

But working 1,300 miles apart as ER doctors during the coronavirus pandemic has brought them closer than ever before.

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1,300 miles apart, twin ER doctors help fight COVID-19

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR DENNIS D'URSO, SAYING: "From when we were kids we realized we're similarly talented at pretty much everything and kind of having the same interest we were forced to have, you know, active or, you know, more subtle competition in everything.

And that still continues." Twin brothers Dennis and Michael D’Urso had done almost everything together for 30 years.

And even today though 1,300 miles apart, they have the same mission: Keep COVID-19 patients alive.

Dennis is an ER doctor in Miami.

Michael is an ER doctor in New York - the U.S. epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR DENNIS D'URSO, SAYING: "Yeah, I think in Miami, we're still bracing for impact, so, in general, we are learning lessons from places like New York, and I get to learn lessons from my brother who is personally experiencing it.” The twins say they check in with each other almost every day.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR DENNIS D'URSO, SAYING: “…We share things that we learn day to day, we see unique patient cases, share how we responded to them and took care of these patients, or just getting different experiences in different hospitals, and how different programs are training and preparing for this kind of response.” Michael’s main lesson for Dennis: expect the unexpected.

He has told his twin horror stories about how seemingly stable patients may crash without warning.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW YORK-AREA EMERGENCY ROOM DOCTOR MICHAEL D'URSO, SAYING: “…But I just feel like every day you get home, and you just want to sit down and just let it all out for a few minutes, because it is so much more stressful than your regular days at work.” While the coronavirus crisis brings strain on the brothers, the emergency room is essentially the family business.

Their dad James was an ER doctor for 35 years.

(SOUNDBITE)(English) DENNIS'S AND MICHAEL'S FATHER JAMES D'URSO, SAYING (WITH THEIR MOTHER, LINDA D'URSO, AND YOUNGER BROTHER, TOM D'URSO, LISTENING): "Oh, yes, we're very proud of them.

Yes.

Can't say enough about it.

I think they went into a real good profession.”(edit)…”Every time they call us every day, they kind of vent about all the exciting things they had to go through during the night and the real bad, critical cases and some just very interesting type cases.

And I think it's very rewarding when they get off a shift and know that they've taken care of a lot of people, made a big difference in their lives.” Dennis says the pandemic provides experience no medical school could.

And while they may be separated by states, the two say this experience has brought them closer than ever.

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