Emergency physicians suffer from PTSD

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She was 19 and hung herself from a tree in her backyard. You have the crumpled note that says goodbye. Her mother collapsed when you told her she had died. Her father wept into his hands. A chill crept up your spine. You hug your daughter extra close at home. Could that man be dying of cancer? He looks so young. His kids are so young, his wife so wounded and lovely. You call the oncologist who tells you, “I’ve been trying to get him to accept hospice.” You feel your lymph nodes.

Then there’s the man arrested for carjacking who escapes from radiology after hitting the deputy. He runs down the hall with the officer’s pistol in his hand. Remember the drunk who took a swing and connected on your jaw? That guy said, “I know where you live, and I’ll kill you!”

For the full article, please visit Emergency Medicine News.

Edwin Leap is an emergency physician who blogs at edwinleap.com and is the author of The Practice Test. This article originally appeared in Emergency Medicine News.

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