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Why COVID is so emotional for physicians

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Why COVID is so emotional for physicians

"These encounters made my evening shift much more emotional than usual. I am still not sure what it was exactly that evoked such strong feelings of sadness. Was it having…
December 30, 2020

Why COVID is so emotional for physicians

“These encounters made my evening shift much more emotional than usual. I am still not sure what it was exactly that evoked such strong feelings of sadness. Was it having a patient who was a health care worker? Was it the rapidity in which all three patients’ conditions deteriorated? Was it realizing that without timely, expert care, all three would die very quickly?

Or, was it hearing people wanting to relax the measures and not wear masks, without insight into how quickly things can go wrong and end up deadly?

Or, was it the cost of empathy, and just feeling the pains of my patients way too deeply?

Or, was it talking to the family members of patients and trying to answer their many questions: How will it be in the ICU? Will it be lonely? Can you please let us visit? Just one time? What can we expect? When will they recover?

Or, was it my inability to answer some of these questions? My lack of a crystal ball? Or, was it being already emotionally exhausted from managing everyday challenges of keeping life as normal as possible, with remote learning, running a household, and helping elderly in-laws with lots of medical, emotional, and personal needs?”

Jasminka Vukanovic-Criley is a hospitalist and can be reached on Twitter @criley_md.

She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “The emotional side of being a doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic.” (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2020/07/the-emotional-side-of-being-a-doctor-during-the-covid-19-pandemic.html)

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