Part of the reason I became a physician was because I got tired of watching those close to me as they suffered through illness and eventually died, while I stood helplessly by, unable to do a thing.
Throughout my training I watched as my mentors interacted with their patients, displaying a political correctness matched with just enough outward emotion so that there was no telling the difference between the good news and the bad.
“Don’t let your emotions get too involved” and “Never take those feelings home with you” were things I heard often. Yet there are some patients and families that you can’t help but get attached to. You endure the ordeal with them. In a sense you become part of the family. So as much as I respected my mentors, I let those words go in through one ear and out the other. I treat every patient as if they were a member of my family. It helps remind me why I went into medicine in the first place.