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Academic Medicine Podcast

Dec 16, 2019

"Like the medical jargon and the physical exam, learning how to witness death is both a rite of passage and a skill to be learned. Teaching medical trainees how to cope with death requires slowing down. When attendings or residents pause to remember what a first code feels like and debrief the experience or offer guidance on how to cope, it is impactful to trainees."

Contrasting her own first experience with death and a classmate's, medical student Sarah Smith (@SarahSm25869963) describes how important it is for attendings and residents to teach trainees how to witness and cope with a patient's death. 

This essay was published in the Teaching and Learning Moments column in the December 2019 issue of Academic Medicine. Read the essay at