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This Anamnesis episode is called “At a Loss.” And that can mean a lot of things — at a loss for words, at a loss for any certainty, and for us in healthcare, it often means a loss of a patient.
We’re extremely privileged to be a part of our patients’ lives – from birth to death and everything in between – but death is perhaps one of the hardest parts of medicine to handle. Because in everything we do, we are so programmed to do everything in our might and power to stave off death – from medicines to surgeries to heroics like ECMO. Yet, despite our efforts with modern medicine, death comes with predictable regularity anyway. We are workers in healthcare — but we are also human. And there’s no textbook in medical school on how to handle this or the other complexities that come with losing a patient.
Chapter 1. Growing Close Then Saying Goodbye (3:00): How helping a sick colleague became a friendship. Story by Debashish Bose, MD, PhD.
Chapter 2. A Broken System Killed My Young Patient (12:15): We’ve made improvements, but would anyone say it can’t still happen? Story by Gregg Miller, MD.
Chapter 3. What Could I Have Done Differently? (25:30): Almost a year later, COVID deaths still haunt this doctor. Story by Venus Oliva, DO.
Episode produced by Kristen Monaco
Hosted by Amy Ho, MD
Sound engineering by Greg Laub
Theme music by Palomar
Want to share your story? Read the Anamnesis Storyteller Tip Sheet and when you’re ready, apply here!
Last Updated January 15, 2021