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ER doctor shares why social media is a powerful tool in helping him cope with death.

Yes, even doctors must cope with death, be it sudden, and/or unexpected.

Physicians early in their training are told to be imperturbable and treat each situation with equanimity. Simply said most physicians form an emotional withdrawal from a clinical situation, such as childbirth, sudden death, and situations in the intensive care unit, or dealing with family crises.

One physician who deals with unfamiliar patients is to use social media platforms to obtain background information for a patient in front of them, dead or alive.  This may create potential problems with the family as they may interpret genuine interest as invasion of privacy.

Telling someone their child has just died has to be one of the most difficult things a human can do. For an emergency room physician, it’s part of their day-to-day lives. Every day there’s a chance they’ll deliver horrifying news that will forever change someone’s life.
It’s not a responsibility to be taken lightly. But it’s understandable that an emergency room physician would become calloused after years of delivering tragic news.

You see, I’m about to change their lives — your mom and dad, that is. In about five minutes, they will never be the same, they will never be happy again. Right now, to be honest, you’re just a nameless dead body that feels like a wet bag of newspapers that we have been pounding on, sticking IV lines and tubes and needles in, trying desperately to save you. There’s no motion, no life, nothing to tell me you once had dreams or aspirations. I owe it to them to learn just a bit about you before I go in.

I check your Facebook page before I tell them you’re dead because it reminds me that I am talking about a person, someone they love—it quiets the voice in my head that is screaming at you right now shouting: “You mother f--ker, how could you do this to them, to people you are supposed to love!”

ER doctor shares why social media is a powerful tool in helping him cope with death.: Stories that connect us and sometimes even change the world.

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