Highlights From JACC | Lessons For the CV Physician When Faced With Patient Death

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Confronting a patient's death by contacting family members may be an important step toward healthy coping and avoiding burnout, according to an FIT/Early Career Page publish July 1 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Salim S. Hayek, MD, FACC, describes his experience with a patient unexpectedly passing away, and explains how physicians receive little to no guidance on expressing condolences and systematically assisting surviving family members through the challenges, questions and uncertainties that occur after a death.

He notes that approaching a bereaved family represents a sensitive and emotional situation for both physicians and family members, and does not need to be a complicated or arduous process.

In a response to the column, Kim A. Eagle, MD, MACC, comments that "the wounds we feel as part of these losses are helped by our efforts to stay connected with the family, and by times of reflection about the patient we have lost" He adds, "Working hard at making these transitions thoughtfully and systematically helps the surviving family move on, and helps us move forward." Read more.

Keywords: Clinician Well-Being; Work Life Balance; Burnout;