How many people have you seen die?
Someone asked me that in a chatroom recently.
In the real world, most will deal with death perhaps just a few times.
Personally, I've lost count. 25? 50? 75? From the ICU septic patients to the CCU pulseless vtac to terminal cancer. Not that anyone's keeping score.
Something we don't think about much being doctors. Which is bad, because we become desensitized. You don't think twice about it anymore. True, we do show compassion, and we feel sad for the family. But when we leave, often we don't give much though of it anymore, other than the prayer we give when we go to bed. We talk about patients passing, sometimes saddened that our efforts didn't yield success. But the world keeps on spinning. And you sometimes feel guilty that you don't feel more.
Perhaps it's a defense mechanism? Or perhaps it's just become work. In IT, computers crash. In medicine, people die. Not a fair comparison by any means, but perhaps it IS because we've learnt to see it as work.
And no, I'm not some heartless SOB doctor. My patients can testify to that. Just that death has become routine. Though I dread the day when it becomes personal.