A photo of an ER doc grieving the loss of a 19-year old patient has surfaced on Reddit and it's creating quite a stir.
Redditor NickMoore911 describes the photo as follows:
The man pictured was unable to save one of his patients. Though this is a common occurrence in our field of work, the patients we lose are typically old, sick, or some combination of the two. The patient that died was 19 years old, and for him, it was one of those calls we get sometimes that just hitsyou.
Within a few minutes, the doctor stepped back inside, holding his head high again.
This morning my colleagues and I have been sharing all the times we have wept over our patients and families. We are a fairly divided group - for many of us women, we are afraid to cry because it betrays some weakness that could be held against us, believing that such feminine emotionality and weakness would somehow make us "less than" our male counterparts. Others feel that families appreciate seeing our humanity, knowing how strongly we feel each setback and loss. I fall somewhere in the middle - I think you need to know your doctor cares and is human, but I think you'd lose confidence if they were a sobbing mess all the time.
In my personal life, I am definitely a crier. Growing up, my parents always joked that I walked around filled up to my eyes with tears, and it only took the littlest thing to make them spill out. That being said, I've only ever completely lost it once. It was on Heme Onc rounds with a terminal 9-year old boy who's room was covered in the most beautiful artwork that he had painted himself. The feeling that the world was losing someone so gifted and precious overwhelmed me, and I stepped out of the room to sob in the supply closet. It's something that will never leave me.