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September 7, 1994

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

Author Affiliations

Rochester, NY

JAMA. 1994;272(9):659. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520090023009

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In Reply.  —I thank Dr Siegel for his response. His assessment that our medical education does not adequately address a physician's own emotional response to patients is an understatement. The medical training I received touched on such topics as delivering bad news and taking into account the impact of a hospitalization on a patient and his or her family, but in retrospect I am amazed that the emotional impact the patient might have on me was never discussed.One aspect that his letter fails to take into account is the awkward position that house officers are often placed in. In "A Father's Eyes," I am a cross-covering intern, unsure of what has transpired in the critical days prior to my brief interaction with this family and unsure of where these parents are in terms of their own emotional response to their son's sudden illness. In Siegel's letter, he speaks of

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