June 26, 2020
Emergency physicians like me will be at the bedside of people who may die without their friends and family close. And, when all our medical care fails, we try our best to grapple with our feelings of inadequacy and to provide whatever final moments of human-to-human comfort we can. Then when our day ends, many of us retreat to solitude as we isolate to protect our families. We are left alone to process the horrors of the most recent shift.
Working in the ED gives me a unique understanding of the resilience of the human body and spirit—but I also know its limits. Healing is hard on its own, but it can be nearly impossible when we are forced to do it without professional help.
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