Bittersweet memories of residency
Robert Patterson's recollections of residency were bittersweet,1 [full text] particularly the entry entitled "A resident dies, take 2." I read them on the day I was supposed to attend a hospital memorial service for a gifted young intensivist who had died suddenly. After reading Patterson's article I surprised myself by deciding not to attend the service. I had realized that the service would inadvertently serve to individualize what was a collective tragedy. Instead, I retreated to ponder the decency and the pathos of a system that commended an exhausted physician for distributing articles on DVT prophylaxis while relentless circadian and other hidden demons were consuming his soul.
Erica Weir, MD