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Crying in Stairwells: How Should We Grieve for Dying Patients?

Bernard Siegel, MD
JAMA. 1994;272(9):659. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520090023008.
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To the Editor.  —I am out of my mind over A Piece of My Mind.1 Again and again, physicians are crying in deserted corners of the hospital.1,2 Why is this happening?The answer is our lack of training and the depersonalization that had become a part of medicine.I, too, had to hurt and almost die inside before I began to treat people. We cried together, held each other, listened to one another, and I was even asked by my patients to deliver eulogies at their funerals. I spoke their words for them. They healed me. Please, fellow physicians, don't cry in empty rooms, on stairwells, or in locker rooms. Cry in public and let the patients and staff heal you and see you are human.We wouldn't need to hide behind our masks if we weren't human and hurting. As a surgeon, I had to come out


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