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A Piece of My Mind
October 24/31, 2017

A Death in the Family

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Management, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
JAMA. 2017;318(16):1543-1544. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.13531

One Sunday in early 2017, my anesthesia coresident Will (not his real name) was brought to the emergency department of our hospital unresponsive. He was quickly triaged, intubated, and transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU), where a hypothermia protocol was initiated. I couldn't visit Will for two days. Those days came like rust, slow and hard. I went to see him with another resident. We met Will’s family for the first time under the worst of circumstances. I went expecting to offer comfort, prayers, and time. Instead, Will’s family gave me comfort, prayers, and all the time I needed.

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