Haunted Doctors.

Abstract:

:The idea of being "haunted" appears often in accounts of the experience of health-care professionals and trainees who suffer from unresolved sorrow or regret about past clinical events, in particular the deaths of patients. The trope of haunting draws a direct line between past professional trauma and the dread of future failure, a connection embodied as a spectral patient who revisits the physician with doubt, anxiety, and exhaustion. This article suggests that the sense of being haunted may be a useful index for the unresolved effects of two omnipresent and underappreciated components of clinical practice: emotion and uncertainty. By connecting the aspects of feeling and (not) knowing that lead to physician suffering-in trauma that is inextricably both emotional and epistemological-a sustaining sense of meaning might be generated. Doctors' work is, in several senses, weird, and medicine might benefit from paying closer attention to the etiologies and manifestations of its ghosts.

journal_name

Perspect Biol Med

authors

Belling C

doi

10.1353/pbm.2020.0034

subject

Has Abstract

pub_date

2020-01-01 00:00:00

pages

466-479

issue

3

eissn

0031-5982

issn

1529-8795

pii

S1529879520300053

journal_volume

63

pub_type

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