We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
A Piece of My Mind |

A Journey Beyond Imagining

Lawrence J. Hergott, MD
JAMA. 2009;302(20):2188-2189. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1586.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


“I'm surprised to see you here,” one of our cardiology fellows said as he took the seat next to mine in the echocardiography reading room. His comment emanated from my return to work less than two weeks following the death of my son, Zachary, in a plane crash last January. After a moment's reflection I responded, “I don't know where I’m supposed to be. I don't know what I’m supposed to do. I don't know what I’m supposed to say.” I did know how I felt. I felt I had been thrust into a world of familiar surroundings but with an operating principle incomprehensively different from the one I thought was real days before; a world at times I considered might be a dream but knew immediately it was not, and that there would be no startled awakening to thankful relief from its horror. I felt that a new life-clock had started ticking the moment I took the call on a hallway phone in my clinic informing me of the crash, and that everything that occurred after would be tied to that moment. I felt totally flattened—physically, psychologically, spiritually. I felt that a consuming sorrow had taken control of me, a sorrow I couldn't and surprisingly didn't want to suppress—understanding utterly why it had come. I felt out of place any time I was away from home and family and wanted to be only there and only with them. Beneath the veneer of seeming to go through my day relatively unencumbered I felt like crying, almost all the time.


Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

3 Citations

Sign in

Purchase Options

• Buy this article
• Subscribe to the journal
• Rent this article ?

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Related Collections