I’m sure some of you may have come across this picture on social media sites at one point or another over the past few weeks:

doctor sobbing outside hospital after losing patient

This is heartbreaking and also hits home the harsh reality of what medicine can do to a professional at times. The importance of professionalism has been drilled into us from the first day we stepped into medical school as eager students. And yet, where do we draw that balance from being a professional and remembering that we are also human beings…

I am happy to say that I have not come across an emotional experience so far whilst being on placement so far, but the death of a patient human being is something that most if not all doctors will have to face.

Can I handle it? I’d like to think that I can. Each day I spend at the hospital, I am learning how to wear that “professional mask” by watching how my seniors behave in front of patients.

Anyway, to go back to the picture; I think it clearly shows the huge burden that is placed upon medical professionals. Sometimes, the general public forget the emotional stress they undergo on a daily basis and how they too are individuals who are affected by death on a direct basis.


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