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Editor's Correspondence
Dec 10/24, 2012

Grief in Health Care Professionals: When Screening for Major Depression Is Needed

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry, INSERM U669, Bicêtre University Hospital, Assistance Publique–Hopitaux de Paris, Le Kremlin Bicêtre, France (Dr Corruble); SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York, and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Pies); and Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, and Veterans Affairs San Diego Health Care System, San Diego, and Veterans Medical, Education and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California (Dr Zisook).

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(22):1768-1769. doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.90

We appreciate the important articles by Granek et al1 and Shayne and Quill2 regarding grief in health care professionals (HCPs). Although HCPs can, and often do, experience grief over patient loss, this important issue has not received the attention it deserves. Physicians form meaningful connections with their patients and have human responses to their deaths, including grief reactions.2 The intensity of sadness, sense of loss, and possibly self-doubt varies, but even when intense and somewhat protracted, “normal” grief should not be confused with major depression.

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