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How do you ( a medical doctor) calm yourself down in dire situations?

For example when a patient is dying. I would like to know because I've always wanted to be a doctor since I was little, but I'm not sure how I'll handle myself in those situations. I think tips would be helpful. #doctor #medicine #emergency-room #stress-management #emergency-management

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Student Voices by CV’s Answer

Great question. I think every physician will answer this question differently based on our personalities and past experiences, but we all try to remain calm because we know patients are counting on our knowledge to get them through the situation. If I feel myself getting stressed our nervous, I count 3 in my head before speaking or acting next. In medical training, we have opportunities to practice things like codes (CPR given when someone heart stops) and practing these things can help you learn how you react best in nervous or dire situations. I encourage you to ask this question of physicians you work with in the future to learn how they handle it.

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Naiara’s Answer

Hi Jane, that is a good question, but difficult to answer. As you progress through your medical education, you start to better understanding life, death, and the limits of medicine. Death sounds like a terrible and scary word, but unfortunately, it is a normal part of the life cycle. Depending on the type of medicine you will practice you will rarely have to encounter patients at the end of their lives (for example me in Dermatology, or pathology, radiology, etc). However, some people chose medical careers that often will include patients who are terminally ill (like oncology helping cancer patients) or patients who have incurable diseases and need to be comfortable (like palliative care), or patients who suffer an accident or major trauma and needs immediate attention from ED doctors to survive. During medical school, you will get to experience a little bit of different specialties and learn what career best fits you. In general, as doctors, we try to do our best and whatever is available in medicine to help patients, but it is not always enough and there are limitations, unfortunately, some patients will not survive. Also, some medical treatments can be very painful and consuming, therefore, some patients may elect not to undergo treatment, even if it will shorten their lives. As a doctor, you respect their wishes and support them as you can. It is always rewarding at the end of the day, despite the outcome, if you know you did your best and the best for the patient.

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