Evan Stein’s Radiologists Rise To The COVID Occasion

In the early days of the pandemic, New York hospitals were scrambling.

Unsure how to fight COVID-19, they were overwhelmed by patients. Some were being treated in temporary tents. Doctors had to get out of their comfort zones, and help.

At Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, administrators asked department chairs to free as many residents and attendings as possible to serve on coronavirus floors.

Director of neuroradiology Dr. Evan Stein jumped in to help. Radiologists are not experts on an infectious, airborne disease. Yet the situation was dire.

Dr. Evan Stein

Stein reworked his schedule, operating his department with as few doctors as he could. He partnered across disciplines to do things they’d been asked before.

His message to his staff was simple: The hospital and community need our help. We must do whatever we can.

And not just residents. “I made it clear that I would ask our attendings and technologists to step up in ways we’d never asked them to before,” he says.

Stein knows how to solve problems. At Staples High School, the 1992 graduate captained both the math and wrestling teams, and was very involved in WWPT-FM.

He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University — in just 3 years — as a bio-chem major. He now lives across the street from NYU Medical School, where he earned his MD/Ph.D degree.

A  story on the American College of Radiology website — titled “The Meaning of Grit” — describes his work.

At Stein’s suggestion, Maimonides created a team of residents and physicians to place central lines and bring simple procedures directly to patients, at bedside.

That would eliminate the need to transport them “through areas of unknown levels of infection … and keep IR suites available for more urgent procedures.”

Stein oversaw the residents still in his department, and also those on the line team. Meanwhile, he ensured that the radiology residents’ education continued.

Two weeks later, Stein was asked if radiology residents could act as medicine interns on CVOID floors and in the new surge ICUs. That was a vast increase in responsibility.

Stein’s residents rose to the occasion. He worried about their time away from their radiology duties. But, he realized, many were “exercising skills in competencies — communication, systems-based practice, and patient care to name three — that they don’t always get to practice.”

Despite feeling added stress, the radiologists handled it well. They — and Stein — learned plenty.

One of the first lessons was among the most important: “Our residents had the intangible characteristics of grit and determination.

“This virus creates a lot of fear in people. At first I didn’t appreciate how big of an impact that would have on me and the residents. But they all rose to the occasion and contributed a tremendous amount to patient care.”

(To read the entire American College of Radiology story, click here.) 

16 responses to “Evan Stein’s Radiologists Rise To The COVID Occasion

  1. I continue to marvel at what a gentleman you are, Dan. Writing “Radiologists are not experts on an infectious, airborne disease” without adding “like Trump’s Dr. Atlas.” You make me belief unity may be possible.

  2. Hilary Siano

    Cheers to Dr Stein and his team!!

  3. Ilene Mirkine

    Thank you for sharing this, Dan. Dr Stein not only took the step forward to do all needed (and more) on the front lines, but saw the learning opportunity for his residents. Maimonides and his patients are fortunate to have him, and if his residents move forward in their careers with a fraction of Dr Stein’s grit, the medical community will certainly benefit in so many ways.
    The pandemic has had a profound effect on learning – for these residents and all students – and hopefully the silver linings will continue to reveal themselves. Thank you Dr Stein for you dedication and commitment to excellence!

  4. This was a pleasant surprise. My hometown blog picked up a story about what we did at Maimonides in Radiology to help out the hospital. With all the challenges and shock that are surrounding the transition to the new administration, don’t dare forget that COVID is still out there and will remain present even under the new administration. If you become eligible in your state for your vaccine, get yourself on a list to get it as soon as possible. The criteria are changing frequently so keep up to date. Wear a mask! Socially distance and stay safe!

  5. Hooray! I was born at Maimonides. So was my brother…and my mom. All by the same obstetrician. Keep up the good work, Dr. Stein.

  6. Hi Dan-

    Thank you for picking up and giving local Westport color to the American College of Radiology article highlighting Evan’s stellar work at Maimonides Hospital at the beginning of the pandemic.

    We take for granted that hospitals will be ready to care for us when we get sick- this was only true in March 2020, when the virus overwhelmed so many hospitals and their limited ICU beds, because of doctors like Evan stepping up and going beyond their training to be creative and innovative in figuring out how to do more with the available resources- Evan and Maimonides staff and residents were on the front line very early on and were among the first to have to accomplish this in very unchartered and resourceful ways.

    We are sure that being the Captain of the Staples Math and Wrestling Teams while being involved in the radio station somehow prepared him for the mental and physical challenges of being Director of Neuroradiology, Director of Radiology Residency training, Vice Chair of the Radiology Department while sitting on several national Radiology Committees and contributing chapters to neuroradiology standards- and enabled Evan to rise to the occasion when the awful COVID19 virus necessitated not 25 or 30 ICU beds but to created the immediate and urgent need find and staff 120 much needed ICU beds!!

    Since one writer brought up the name of Scott Atlas- we can say he was a very good neuroradiologist but a terrible epidemiologist/virologist who might have benefitted from a well rounded education at Staples HS. I am sure Evan could have easily pinned his ears back at either a wrestling match or a math olympiad.

    Obviously, Linda and I are the very proud parents of our son Evan- Staples HS- Class of 1992.

    Linda and Steve Stein

  7. Very proud to call Evan my friend! Keep up the good work! Great story, Dan.

  8. This is a wonderful and important story, made more so coming at the end of a truly sad week for America. By that, I do not mean only the insurrection at the Capital, but the record number of deaths recorded in our country due to COVID-19. The work of Dr. Stein and so many others supporting our healthcare system gives us all hope that perhaps things will return to “normal” and the collaboration they have shown can somehow find its way to the hallways of Washington, as well.

    As a Westporter, it is also most pleasing to witness another product of our public school system truly making a difference in the world. If you ever find yourself questioning the importance of public education, keep this story in mind.

    Finally, and I am sure Evan would agree; any success and accomplishments he has had were rooted in the support and foundation of his exceptional family.

  9. If this is the Evan Stein for whom I babysat, he was a great as a kid, too! I recall a couple Rhodesian ridgeback (?) dogs and I think a brother and sister. All were well-behaved, curious and smart.

    Thanks for all the wonderful stories, Dan.

    • That’s us. You nailed the dogs. I was the baby at the time. It was 2 brothers but Michael probably didn’t need babysitting and now there is my little sister. Thanks for supporting me in the tough times.

      Also, the ACR did a second story yesterday. It’s not nearly as interesting but it goes deeper into how many things have to be done to keep people sane and connected in a hospital (every hospital) with patients almost entirely disconnected from families and every doctor, PA, and NP overwhelmed.


    • There are five of us patty… you most likely could be speaking of me… and you are speaking of Yankee and Topaz… we cover a 15 year time span of kids… I know my Father/Mother chimed in, but as the proud big brother… Evan went from being an “Egghead” to one of the most interesting, benevolent, caring, humans… his “True Love” of his family, Friends, hometown.. we should all strive to be a pinch of him… I look up to him how can you not

  10. I appreciate all the support Dan’s story has gotten here and on the Internet. Also, the ACR did a second story yesterday. It’s not nearly as interesting but it goes deeper into how many things have to be done to keep people sane and connected in a hospital (every hospital) with patients almost entirely disconnected from families and every doctor, PA, and NP overwhelmed.


  11. Awesome Evan! Thank you for all you are doing…Class act and stand up person.

    Dan it’s always nice to see our hometown peeps in your blog doing good things for all of us.

  12. Terry Brannigan

    Wow! Amazed but not surprised. The world needs oe Evan Steins. I have had to honor to know Evan and the entire Stein clan for 30+ years, and this is just how they roll. Generosity is a family trait.

    Evan is an intelligent gentleman and loyal friend. He is the guy that they made the saying “do not mistake his kindness for weakness” to describe.

    People like Evan and the Stein family will get us through this and I can’t wait to see them occupying their rightful place on the bridge at next year’s Memorial Day parade!

    Evan gives new meaning to “Wrecker for life”