Dr. Roy Silver
Posted May 25, 2020
MEET DR. ROY SILVER
Clinical/teaching physician & Member of the Center of Excellence for Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery - Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles
We had the chance to catch up with 5-time Escapee Dr. Roy Silver about how his work, training, and life in general have been impacted by the pandemic.
EFAT: When did you race in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon?
RS: 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017
EFAT: How’s the last couple of months (since the pandemic hit) been for you?
RS: What can I say at this point, everyone's lives have changed. As the pandemic hit, we were getting daily updates and changes how things were being conducted at the hospital. All elective surgeries were cancelled with only emergency surgeries allowed. Anyone with symptoms was considered a PUI (person under investigation) and was treated as if they were COVID positive until testing results were final. At first, it would take 3 to 5 days, but now, in Los Angeles we can test anyone and get results the same day. There was a point where partners of pregnant patients would have to leave after the delivery and couldn't stay with mom and baby in postpartum. Now pregnant patients are allowed one visitor that is not permitted to leave the hospital. Everyone was being screened on admission and now we only are testing based on symptoms or scheduled surgeries.
In my office everyone is on high alert. Patients are anxious and so is my staff. I am often discussing risks of exposure to COVID at the hospitals and in my office. Patients have even considered delivering at home to avoid being exposed to more people. We only allow patients in the office and have cut the number of patients we see to keep the waiting room less busy. Temperatures are checked and we ask about symptoms and everyone must wear masks. I am currently only seeing obstetrics patients and those that have urgent complaints in my office. Otherwise, I book several "virtual" tele-medicine visits even for pregnant patients.
At home, my concern is exposing my family due to my daily risk from work. Every time I come home, I change out of my scrubs in the garage and shower before interacting with my family. One day, I was in the shower 5 times after coming back and forth for several deliveries. My wife is a veterinarian and she is working as well. We have three kids under the age of 8 and we daily try to keep a balance with home school activities and an active lifestyle with frequent walks and swimming in our home pool. Honestly, I think my kids think they are on vacation, but desperately miss seeing their friends and grandparents.
EFAT: How has your experience training for and competing in Escape/Triathlon equipped you to take on the challenges you’re facing now?
RS: As a healthcare provider, I am guided by the relentless pursuit of providing optimal health and wellness to my patients. Triathlon has allowed me to reinforce this by improved health, well-being and weight management. Since I am in private practice I am on-call for my patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Living in the time of the pandemic, there is extra stress and anxiety besides the usual lack of sleep. Triathlon training keeps me motivated and cuts my stress level. Winning doesn't mean you have to be at the top of the podium. By setting goals for yourself and staying focused I feel you have already achieved success.
Some races don't go as planned and you have to be OK with that. In 2017 at EFAT the swim was cancelled (my best discipline) and the race was delayed several hours. I got a flat tire after the Golden Gate Park Loop and my Pit Stop tire sealant didn't work. Somehow I was able to creep into transition after using any available pump along the way. I had severe cramps from trying to keep my bike upright from the flat, but I was determined to finish the race. I pushed through the pain and my disappointment. Once you get past that, you realize what you are able to accomplish and you become stronger for it.
EFAT: What’s one piece of advice you would give to triathletes during this time and as they look to pivot their training and adjust their expectations for this Tri season?
RS: Roll with it. We are all going through the same frustrations. It's not worth complaining about not being able to go to your favorite spin class or that races are being postponed or cancelled. Stay active. Stay healthy. Be creative with your work-outs and fitness.
EFAT: Just for fun: One word you would use to describe the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon
RS: Bucket-list. Epic. Scenic. Adventurous (sorry can't just say one work for one of my favorite races I've ever done nationally or internationally)
EFAT: Anything else you want to share with us?
RS: Triathlon has changed my outlook on life. I have been fortunate to be successful in the sport of triathlon winning many races and qualifying for the age group world championships with Team USA several times. More important though is the camaraderie with the friends I have made around the world. Triathlon is one of the few sports I have competed in where most of the participants support and cheer each other on. That's what sport and competition is all about. You hear triathletes talk about the journey of triathlon being more important than the actual race. This is definitely true.