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Lucia Palladino, MD

Lucia Palladino, MD

Attending Critical Care Physician
NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull

Making Emotional Connections to Patients

It was her passion to care for the most fragile, critically ill patients that led Dr. Lucia Palladino to her career as an intensivist. “I have always been unsettled by people suffering,” she says. As a critical care doctor at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull, she says she is grateful that working in a public health system allows her to embrace the human side of the doctor-patient relationship and make an emotional connection that some might avoid.

“The population we care for is very vulnerable in so many ways,” she says. “It is impossible not to be emotionally involved when a very young patient who spent months walking to New York City from Chile gets so sick that he needs to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. In the private world, at times the misinterpretation of the meaning of professionalism creates a distance between the patient and the physician. I love when my successfully extubated patients call me sweetie. I don’t think it makes me any less professional. Instead, it is a way to say we made it together.”

Dr. Palladino is from Italy and received her medical education and early training in Rome. After coming to the United States in 1997, she served a critical care fellowship at George Washington University then came to New York to join Woodhull in 2004. She moved to posts at Maimonides in Brooklyn and Richmond University Medical Center on Staten Island before returning to Woodhull in 2018. Her compassion for patients and their families was never more evident than during the worst months of the pandemic, says Woodhull’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Edward Fishkin. Day after day, she spent hours with COVID patients and hours more consoling their families as they struggled to deal with the severity of the virus.

“Compassion is what drives integrity,” Dr. Palladino says, adding, “I am thankful to care for patients because it helps me stay grounded and become a better person. Truth is: Patients, without knowing it, do more for me than I do for them.”

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